Yahoo Board Member New Huffington Boss

Upstart news site now run by tech-media veteran Eric Hippeau

By Owen Thomas
|  Monday, Jun 15, 2009  |  Updated 3:30 PM CDT
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Yahoo Board Member New Huffington Boss

AP

Arianna Huffington has hired a new boss for the Huffington Post

Brassy political pundit Arianna Huffington, the Los Angeles-based founder of the Huffington Post, is famous for churning through editors. Now she's turning over the top brass, too.

Eric Hippeau, an experienced Web boss who currently works as a venture capitalist, is replacing CBS veteran Betsy Morgan, who ran Huffington's startup online-news site since 2007, according to industry blog PaidContent.

Hippeau is a member of the Huffington Post's board of directors, as well as Yahoo's. As an executive at Japanese internet conglomerate Softbank in the mid-'90s, Hippeau helped Yahoo land Softbank's financial backing, which proved crucial to the Web company's early success.

He's best known as a dealmaker: Softbank bought and sold stakes in several Internet-related media companies throughout the '90s, including Comdex and Ziff-Davis, in rapid-fire succession. The hire could signal expansion plans for the Huffington Post, which raised $25 million in venture capital last December.

Huffington's site is widely admired -- and envied -- by the rest of the Web media scene for its skill in search-engine optimization. Besides original celebrity-written blogs and dispatches by volunteer reporters, it's also known for hosting excerpts from mainstream news organizations like the New York Times, a practice which is generating ongoing controversy in the media business.

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