The news broke today that Paul Berry, the longtime CTO of Huffington Post credited with their legendary SEO and early adoption of social networking tools, was leaving the company. Betabeat has learned that Mr. Berry will be reuniting with the old gang, Ken Lerer and Jonah Peretti, as he builds out a startup called Rebel Mouse and a new incubator focused on viral and social startups.
“I can’t say too much right now, but Rebel Mouse will be a social platform and I’m working with Lerer Ventures, Kenny and Eric, very closely on that,” Mr. Berry told Betabeat by phone.
The other half will be a incubator at 560 Broadway, the old home of the Huffington Post, and current home of Lerer Ventures. Thrillist was formerly housed there and is now just down the street at 568 Broadway.
“That is going to be space where we can just throw stuff against the wall and see what sticks,” Mr. Berry explained. “It will be focused on social and viral, experimenting to see what kind of business can really scale.”
Along with Lerer Ventures, former HuffPosters and current BuzzFeed crew Jonah Peretti and Greg Coleman will be part of the new incubator. Thrillist CFO Eric Ashman was another name Mr. Berry mentioned as being part of the project. All very fitting for a guy who’s Twitter handle is @teamreboot.
Not to pat ourselves on the back but we did put Mr. Berry on our list of most poachable tech folks. Not sure if this exactly counts (he poached himself?) but clearly he has moved on, so we’ll score one for the list on that front. All of it has to be frustrating for AOL, which is watching a talent exodus from a company it recently paid $315 million for.