According to Betabeat, Rich Tong, who currently holds that position, is leaving the company. Apparently, the position called for more of an “ambassador”-esque role, while Tong saw himself more in “an ‘entrepreneurial’ light”–or, if Betabeat’s sources are to be believed, someone who is sort of unaccountable. “[Tong]‘s been out of the office for much of the last three weeks,” Betabeat reported. “And [his] diminishing presence has not gone unnoticed by the rest of the staff.”
While it’s possible Tumblr and Tong may have been just a bad fit, we’re wondering if the recent fallout could have a little more to do with Tong’s involvement in the Fashion Week scandal and a little less to do with his desk-side manner.
For those of you who don’t remember, back in August, Tumblr’s proposal for fashion brands participating in Fashion Week was leaked and the astronomical proposed sums (we’re talking talking upwards of $300K) caused quite a shitstorm. Besides the inflated price points, fashion industry insiders also complained about Tumblr’s failure to cultivate relationships with brands who adopted the platform early on, as well as their total lack of analytics–and Rich Tong featured personally in all of these complaints.
Of course there’s no word yet on who terminated the relationship–both Tong and Tumblr haven’t yet made any official announcements or comments. But we have a feeling that there’s more to the story then has yet been reported. Stay tuned…