Caterina Fake Exits Hunch, Rumor Mill In Overdrive

It’s official, ladies and gentlemen. Caterina Fake is scheduled to leave Hunch before 2010 wraps. However, she will maintain a vague advisory role (“Yes, staying on as an advisor is the most likely scenario”). In the meantime, news of her departure has officially broken across the web, thereby confirming rumors that have been swirling since October.

The crux of the matter was the recent pivot of Hunch, a recommendation engine Caterina cofounded with Chris Dixon. After returning from a vacation last month, Caterina addressed the issue in an article for Business Insider. According to her:

“Hunch has pivoted. We’ve gone from being a consumer destination site based on user-created topics, to a taste-graph driven platform for partner sites. The things I’m good at are building communities, participatory media, places where people contribute things of their own making. So yes, I am wondering what I can do that best serves Hunch and utilizes my own particular talents. I will find the perfect role for me, and whatever it is, is TBD. I have no plans to parachute off the plane.”

What’s ironic about the explanation above is she was convincing skeptics she was NOT leaving Hunch. She is now and the move has inspired a haters field day, with many of Hunch’s strongest detractors claiming Hunch is a sinking ship. Others speculate her relationship with Chris Dixon has unraveled. But according to Caterina herself in the same October 29 piece, Hunch is set to achieve big things next year, hence her continued (if limited) participation. Here is some of her optimism back then:

“Hunch’s dataset has grown incredibly fast: we’ve mapped 30 billion ‘edges,’ we’ve signed dozens of partnerships and 2011 will be the year that the Internet gets personalized. Hunch will be at the center of it.”

Via: Business Insider