Syntagma Digital
Editor, John Evans

Duncan Riley Leaves b5media

The news of Duncan Riley’s departure from b5media has been broken on b5′s external blog. No details are given and the post is couched in minimalist terms for such a loss : thanks and all the best.

It’s hard to guess from what we know, but Duncan posted on his perblog yesterday to the effect that he was “shocked by Toronto” (b5′s new base) and had left for New York tight-lipped and promising to write about it when he returned to Western Australia.

Darren Rowse remarked “meeting Jeremy for the first time was surreal”. That’s about as ambiguous as it comes, especially from a practiced writer like Darren.

Martin Neumann at The Blog Herald is puzzled why he left when the company had received VC finance. I’d say that was the moment when they could afford to buy him out. This has probably been going on for a while and when the VCs came in, his 25pc shareholding would have been diluted. He may have been happy to walk with a decent payoff.

At the back of it all, though, my guess is that there’s been a long-running personality clash between CEO Jeremy Wright and Duncan over many aspects of the business.

Clashes sap the strength of any enterprise and maybe it’s for the best in the long run.

On a personal note : I started blogging professionally on Duncan’s Weblog Empire, which became part of b5 at its inception. I left for personal reasons, but mainly because, as a long-term freelance, I found the b5 experience a bit confining. If Duncan feels the same way, I can understand that.

Syntagma wishes Duncan great success in his new career whatever that may be. I’ve a feeling it won’t be long before we know all about it.

18 Responses to “Duncan Riley Leaves b5media”

  1. John – I think you’re onto something there with a personality clash – but that’s just my gut feeling. ;-)

  2. No doubt we’ll soon know, Martin.

    Eerily, after reading Duncan’s perblog yesterday I was going to do a short baiting piece on whether Duncan was happy at b5, but thought the evidence too flimsy. Now we know.

  3. You’re a bit slow there John ;-)

    Check out this post from Duncan the other week – .

    Pretty big hint there, don’t you think?

  4. Yes, I saw that, plus later he said he was going. Maybe we’ll get Duncan himself here to clarify all this soon. :-)

  5. Yes, you read that – did you read my comment/question? – lets just say Duncan emailed me following that – I think the ball has been rolling on for a while now.

    Also, don’t be too surprised if there is a confidentiality agreement with all of this – so we might not hear Duncan’s side of things – but you know Dunc, he likes to have his say and he says it like it is.

    Let’s wait and see when Duncan gets back. :-)

  6. I saw your comment, Martin. Well sniffed. Did Duncan tell you anything in his email?

  7. Well I won’t break the confidences of private emails – but lets just say I knew then that something was up, even though he added the standard official “no comment” line.

    My take (and it’s totally a gut feeling – Duncan didn’t say any of this) was a clash of personalities and some ego issues. I could be wrong – but I’ll try and grill Duncan first chance I get.

  8. Darren was very noncommittal in his comments. Do you think his position is creaky too, and what about Shai? Are the Toronto hardhats taking over from the Aussies? ;-)

  9. Women problems? Now that’s one I’ve not heard of before. ;-)

    They’re closing this story right down. It hasn’t even hit Techmeme yet.

  10. You know John, I really wouldn’t be surprised … seriously.

    Hey Hart – “woman problems” – where’d you get that from? ;-)

  11. Yeah, well you have an original co-founder of a growing business who just departs unexpectantly and the industry is interested – it’s the nature of the beast. :-)

    The less facts they give out the more we’ll speculate and yap away. ;-)

  12. Way of the world, Clive.

  13. Hmmm. 10am EST on Nov. 18 in North America and Duncan’s site isn’t loading. I pinged the server and it’s responding in 71ms, so it’s up. Lets hope his pain the back wasn’t accompanied by a beheading.

  14. I’m having similar problems, Paul, although the main page has not been clickable on Bloglines for a while. It’s still on the b5 server, according to the header info. Maybe they’ve dumped his site. Let’s hope he’s backed it up.

  15. Duncan’s video statement

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ueZrnoFuSxc&eurl=

  16. Yeah, saw that Paul. I’ve got a post about it on Syntagma. He’s definitely joining us on the Semantic Web. ;-)

  17. Oh, sorry John. I came directly back to this page and didn’t notice you already had a post up about it.

    BTW, I’ve subscribed to your feed.

  18. That’s OK, Paul, and thanks for the subscription.

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