BackFence CEO Resigns Amidst Downsizing

BackFence CEO and co-founder Susan DeFife has resigned from the company, amidst a major downsizing. Co-founder Mark Potts will serve as the company’s interim leader as the company looks to solve what he calls “BackFence 2.0.” Potts initially said that “roughly” 12 of 18 employees were let go, but now says that his estimate — made after 3 months away from the company — was inaccurate. He said the company won’t be revealing specific employee information

DeFife says she will join with VPs Amanda Graham and Bob Kelly to form a consulting team that will focus on reach, engagement, and “getting high CPMs” from local businesses. She notes that Backfence has built 13 sites in three metro area (DC, Chicago and Bay Area), sold 550 ads to local businesses since April 2006, and got two percent of community members to register in its most mature communities (i.e. Reston, McLean and Bethesda).

“Ultimately, we did not share the same strategic vision for the company as the Board of Directors,” says DeFife. BackFence had received $3 million in funding from SAS Investors, The Omidyar Network and several DC-area investors back in October 2005.