Zite C.E.O. Mark Johnson on the sale to Flipboard
Following the news that CNN sold Zite, an iPad news reading app, to the app's competitor Flipboard for $60 million, ReadWrite's Dan Rowinski spoke to Zite C.E.O. Mark Johnson to get his thoughts on the acquisition.
Along with the technology, Flipboard has also acquired Zite's tech team, which is led by cofounder Mike Klaas. But Johnson, who had no part in developing or managing the recommendation engine, along with a few others will not be staying with Zite.
Johnson tells Rowinski he's glad that Zite's technology will now be in the hands of Flipboard's "massive audience," even if it means he's not a part of the deal.
"The problem with Zite … my bosses have always said this, I have always said this, Zite is just not in the hands of enough people," Johnson said. "Once people get their hands on Zite they say, wow, I just can’t live without this. Our retention rates are amazing, our engagement is amazing. We never really achieved the breakout success that Flipboard had.
"To me, Zite is product that helps peoples lives get better," he continued. "It finds those articles for people that are potentially life changing. The fact that that technology is going to be in the hands of a lot more people, to me is really exciting. Even if I am not going to going along with it."
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