EDITOR'S NOTE: This post has been changed to reflect that Edelman was not dismissed last week. He is still chief executive but will transition out of the role in the next couple of weeks.
Matt Edelman, who spent the last three years transforming struggling fashion website ThisNext into digital publishing startup Glossi, is stepping down as chief executive by the Santa Monica company.
Edelman and the board notified Glossi's 12-person team on Tuesday afternoon.
Sumant Mandal, a managing partner at venture capital firm Clearstone Venture Partners and a Glossi board member, told the Business Journal that the company will announce a new chief executive shortly.
The leadership change, he said, was about bringing in an executive with the skills to grow the company.
"We all just felt it best to get someone in who came with having built a business in this space (publisher platform and tools) and distribution while Matt continues to help as an adviser," he wrote in an email.
In an earlier statement to the Business Journal, Mandal praised Edelman's work in turning the company around. He maintained that Edelman will continue to have influence at Glossi, if not in a leadership position.
"As the company heads into the next stage of its evolution, Matt Edelman will transition from CEO to being an advisor to the company where he will continue to remain engaged in the business well into the future," Mandal wrote.
Edelman joined the company in 2010 when it was known as ThisNext and operated a portfolio of fashion and shopping websites. But the business struggled to keep up with more popular social shopping sites and changing Google search algorithms.
Edelman, his employees and the ThisNext board went back to the drawing board and came up with the idea of a publishing platform for digital magazines. Last October, ThisNext changed its name to Glossi and rebooted the business.
"We probably could have sold the company and investors would have gotten their money back," Edelman told the Business Journal in June. "But investors aren't interested in that. ThisNext had effectively become a zero, but Glossi represented the opportunity to turn their investment into a one."
The company reported in June that its digital magazines had surpassed 1 million page views per month. The product is currently free but there are plans to launch a paid subscription version in the coming months.
Glossi still operates the ThisNext and StyleHive websites, which have been generating diminishing revenue. Glossi has raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from previous ThisNext investors Clearstone and Anthem Venture Partners. Angel investors Mike Jones and Rob Goldman were also part of the seed round.
Glossi provided a statement from Edelman about his changing role with the company.
"We came to a mutual agreement that bringing someone in with deep product experience in digital publishing would be best and that i would stay involved as an adviser," he said. "As the founder, I'm excited about Glossi's future and continuing to help the company.
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