Last night we told you about the resignation of Forbes.com CEO Jim Spanfeller. Rumors speculating about his motivations for leaving have been swirling on media blogs, so Spanfeller spoke up rather emphatically to try and set the record straight.
I spoke with Spanfeller this afternoon and he denied reports that his leaving was pressured by Forbes investor Elevation Partners. "That's just crappy reporting," he said during a phone conversation. "Unless Elevation has the ability to stick thoughts and actions in my head, they had nothing to do with my decision to move on."
Spanfeller also denied reports that his departure had to do with declining traffic at Forbes.com. "That's even shittier reporting," he said. "Anyone with any tenure in the online space knows that different sources you go to for traffic numbers produce different results, and that's problematic at best. Even if one says we're down slightly over a couple of months, the truth is that Forbes.com is up from half a million uniques in 2001 to 18 million to 20 million today."
Spanfeller went on to say that he's launching a media firm that would manage publishers' websites at the end of the year.