Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley Steps Aside, Replaced by COO | Crunch Report

Netflix wants to squash VPNs, Foursquare appoints
a brand new CEO, Xiaomi missed its sales forecast, and more… It’s Friday January 15th and this is Crunch
Report. The California Public Utilities Commission
(or CPUC) has fined Uber $7.6 million for failing to fully and timely meet the agency’s
reporting requirements. Now, that’s not a ton of money to Uber, but if the company fails
to pay the penalty, its operating license will be suspended in California. As an additional
screw you the CPUC held the company in contempt and imposed an additional $1,000 fine, after
Uber failed to provide information “in a full and timely fashion” about the number
and percentage of customers who requested accessible cars, and how often it could provide
rides for them. It also failed to provide information around service information, like
the number of rides passengers requested and drivers accepted within each zip code, as
well as driver safety information. The CPUC wants this so that it can be sure Uber is
providing services “in a non-discriminatory manner enabling equal access to all” and
that the services are “being provided in a manner that promotes public safety.” Uber
has since given the CPUC all of the data it has requested and tells TechCrunch it’s disappointed
in the outcome but will comply. although it plans to appeal the specific amount. But Uber
is worth $62.5 billion, so yeah.It can afford it. “Last week at CES, Netflix announced it was
expanding to 130 new countries, which was a surprise. That’s a crazy big number. Well
now, the U.S. company says it’s gonna down on customers who use virtual private networks,
or VPNs, to access content that either isn’t available, or isn’t licensed, in their country.
This is going to affect a lot of people – people who are happy to pay for Netflix, but use
a VPN to get the international library, rather than limited local selections. The question
is – how does the company actually police this? New content services and new VPN software
programs pop up all the time, how much is Netflix going to actually go after them? Reminder
earlier this week, Netflix said it didn’t care if people shared their Netflix passwords
with non-members. So…passwords ok, VPNs, nope. Foursquare co-founder and CEO Dennis Crowley
is stepping down from the CEO position he’s held since the company launched, and moving
to Executive Chairman. Jeff Glueck is the new CEO, moving up from his role as COO and
overseeing the company’s enterprise business. Foursquare also announced it raised $45 million
in equity financing, which is its Series E round. led by Union Square Ventures. Speaking
of money, Chief Revenue Officer Steven Rosenblatt is Foursquare’s new president. Foursquare
has been on an interesting ride… first as the fun check-in app, then two apps, Foursquare
and Swarm, then it signed with companies like Apple, Twitter and Pinterest to use its location
data, in fact Foursquare says 2015 was its biggest year in terms of revenue. That said,
TechCrunch previously reported Foursquare was raising, and that it would be at a lower
valuation, and this latest round of financing has indeed cut the company’s valuation roughly
in half from a reported $650 million valuation back in 2013. Foursquare’s forging ahead though,
and hiring 30 new positions, mostly in enterprise media sales and engineering. Chinese smartphone powerhouse Xiaomi has revealed
how many devices it actually sold last year. Xiaomi says “over 70 million” devices
in 2015. Now, although that’s a 15% jump over 61 million sales in 2014, it’s short of the
80 million projection the company set for itself in 2015 — and THAT number was reduced
from an initial 100 million target. This is a company valued at $45 billion… you really
don’t want to miss your projections. A representative tells TechCrunch that Xiaomi doesn’t break
out sales by region, so we don’t know how much of that 70 million number came from China,
or Xiaomi’s emerging markets like India, Indonesia and Brazil. Meanwhile, rival device maker
Huawei became the first Chinese company to ship more than 100 million smartphones in
a single year in 2015, enjoying 44% shipment growth. Step it up Xiaomi, it’s 2016 and you’ve
got competition. Stolen, the app that let you “own” and “sell”
your peers with Twitter accuonts, has shut down. Hey Inc, the creators of Stolen, tweeted
“We’ve decided to shut down the Stolen! app and service until further notice. Thank you
for everyone’s support.” “The app is no longer available in the App Store. We’ve heard everyone’s
concerns and have decided the best thing to do is to shut down.” This is news because
Stolen got a lot of attention in a pretty short amount of time… but also rubbed some
people the wrong way. Including me. Buying and selling people sounds like… slavery.
No thanks. Now after an interview with Gadgette addressing these topics, the team created
an opt-out page that let people remove their profiles if they didn’t want to participate.
But to do that required you to log into Twitter and authorize the app. Then the team then
made sure that it only asked for read permissions, but it was all a bit too little too late.
The company is now directing people to iTunes for refunds for any in-app purchases they
may have made. That’s the report for today from our studio
in New York City. I’m Sarah Lane. THIS EPISODE WAS PRESENTED BY GO90.
Crunch Report airs every weekday at 7 pm Eastern, 4 pm Pacific, on You can also
find us on iTunes, and on YouTube.

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6 thoughts on “Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley Steps Aside, Replaced by COO | Crunch Report

  1. +TechCrunch,
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