by Brian Solis
Photo Credit: Scott Beale of Laughing Squid
Om Malik broke the news, Michael Arrington also confirmed it yesterday.
Heather Harde senior vice president of mergers and acquisitions at Fox Interactive Media has joined TechCrunch as its new CEO – making the power combo very bub.blicio.us.
Per Arrington, “I have the pleasure of confirming the rumors Heather Harde, currently the SVP of Mergers and Acquisitions at Fox Interactive Media, will start her new job as the CEO of the TechCrunch Network (and my boss) by the end of the month.”
If you attend the hottest and most elite 2.0 events, you’ve seen her, and, maybe you’ve been lucky enough to meet her. Harde seems to be one of the few who have established a spotless and genuine reputation in the Valley, which will help carry her to a successful, early retirement.
What’s in store for TechCrunch? Perhaps a new branch – TechCrunch Ventures?
As one can imagine, there must be more to the story than simply running the affairs of TechCrunch – other than editorial.
Harde managed a $2 billion budget and was charged with strategic acquisitions for Fox Interactive and she’s been with the company for ten years. So are there acquisitions or investments in TechCrunch’s future?
It’s already widely known that Mike has stakes in several startups, and isn’t terribly concerned with editorial objectivity for covering these companies.
While there are rumors that Heather might explore media acquisitions to grow the TechCrunch empire, I question whether or not the return will be as great as other “acquisitions” or potentially early seed financing for up-and-coming Web 2.0 companies.
Just think about how much it must have cost to bring her on board (well, and to keep her there). Perhaps she joins Keith Teare as the third share holder of TechCrunch?
Arrington continues, “There is a lot for her to do. She will run every aspect of our business other than editorial, which I’ll be focusing on for now. Heather’s job will be to leverage the opportunities that we have sometimes let slip by, and to manage our organic and acquisition growth going forward.”
According to Ben Metcalfe, “Many are speculating that TechCrunch will expand its media empire, like Gawker Media and GigaOmniMedia, into new topic genres. However this still seems like relative peanuts for someone like Heather and so I think TechCrunch will be getting into the Venture Capital game.”
I agree. If this were the case (which it might be anyway through organic growth), then Heather’s resume might be a bit over qualified.
Ben pointed out that Tim O’Reilly, Mr. Web 2.0, recently launched AlphaTech Ventures and if you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Mike and Heather are sharp, connected, and ripe with opportunity to take TechCrunch into an entirely new level of influence and financial stature – while solidifying an influential future post boom.
Either way, it’s a huge move for TechCrunch and I hope a very promising venture for Heather.
I look forward to what’s next. For those looking for additional information, check Techmeme 1, 2, 3
Update: Visit PR2.0 for the latest on this subject – live comments from Twitter.
Tags: techcrunch gigaom om+malik michael+arrington heather+harde fox interactive web 2.0 web2.0 media2.0 media web+2.0 media+2.0 “media 2.0″ tim+oreily alphatech ventures vc dotben ben+metcalfe gawker