In what may be surprising to many, word broke out just now that TechCrunch editor, Erick Schonfeld, will be stepping down from his role and leaving the tech publication. But before you think that the site is plum for the pickings and going away, you’re going to be sorely mistaken. In his place, Erick Schonfeld will be handing the leadership over to a certainly-qualified individual who has lots of experience leading a tech pub. Current TechCrunch journalist, Eric Eldon, will be leading the charge to help pick the publication off its feet and get it back to its once-former glory (some may say it never left, but others may tend to disagree).
The departure of Mr. Schonfeld adds another name to the growing list of TechCrunch writers and employees who have left the company over the past year or so. He joins founder Michael Arrington, former CEO Heather Harde, writers Jason Kincaid, Robin Wauters, Paul Carr, Sarah Lacy, Greg Kumparak, and others. For many years, he’s served as the co-editor of TechCrunch alongside Mr. Arrington, but after the unfortunate departure of Arrington at the hands of AOL/Huffington in late 2011, he was named the sole editor. No word yet on what lies ahead for Mr. Schonfeld, but with his history of being involved in tech and publication, there’s no doubt that he’ll land squarely on his feet.
At the helm of the “new” TechCrunch is a man named Eric Eldon. For the past few months, he’s been a writer for TechCrunch, but before that has been the editor at two of Silicon Valley’s most prestigious publications: Inside Network and VentureBeat. In fact, he actually founded Inside Network and led it while it was being acquired by WebMediaBrands in 2011. He’s definitely gone through the ranks to get where he is and will surely help resuscitate a revival of the brand and bring a fresh take on the news coverage. Praise from throughout the Twitterverse has been quite positive over Mr. Eldon’s promotion and raised the hopes of its readers that the site can be taken to its next level.
Mr. Eldon’s statement, as reported by PandoDaily’s MG Seigler:
Michael started TechCrunch just writing about random startups that he thought were interesting. He did it before most other people, and he did it amazingly well. He captured the imagination of entrepreneurs around the world, and he made the site the central destination for the modern web industry. He, Heather, Erick — MG, Sarah, etc — did an amazing job building the site to what it is today. Obviously we have a lot of work ahead of us, but the rest of the team and I get what the site is, what it has been, and what we need to do to push it forward.
The folks at TechCrunch are seriously working on making the site better…in their own post, both reporter Alexia Tsotsis and (now editor) Eric Eldon (speaking in the third person), say that they’re putting their heads down and focus on the basics. They’re going to continue building the team in the Valley and report on “entrepreneurs, investors, world-class tech companies, and everyone else that makes this ecosystem that it is.” While not trying to wax nostalgia, their post hints that they’re bringing the Arrington/TechCrunch-era from way back in the day (2005), but they’re going to put a 2012 spin to it.
Congrats Eric (Eldon) on your promotion and sorry to see Erick (Schonfeld) leave. Here’s to bigger and better!