LivingSocial co-founder leaving the company


Tim O'Shaughnessy, CEO and co-founder, right, co-founder Aaron Batalion, second from left, co-founder Eddie Frederick, second from right, and co-founder Val Aleksenko, left, at LivingSocial’s D.C. headquarters in 2011. Batalion announced Friday he was leaving the company. (Astrid Riecken/FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)

Aaron Batalion, a co-founder of District-based daily deals site LivingSocial, announced Friday that he is leaving the the company.

“After much soul searching, I have decided to leave LivingSocial to pursue some new ideas. No new adventure to announce yet, just a urge to go create… that there is more to do,” Batalion said on his Web site.

LivingSocial has struggled in the turbulent — and crowded — daily-deals market. It has sought new sources of revenue, including selling products directly to consumers. It also began offering live experiences such as balloon rides.

But last year the company was forced to close some overseas operations and write down the value of others. In February, LivingSocial received a much needed $110 million cash infusion from its investors.

Batalion, who served as the chief technology officer, is one of four co-founders of the company, and the second to leave. LivingSocial President and co-founder Eddie Frederick left one year ago.

The remaining two co-founders from the original Hungry Machine team, which eventually became LivingSocial, are Tim O’Shaughnessy, the company’s chief executive, and Val Aleksenko, the chief information officer. (O’Shaughnessy is the son-in-law of Washington Post Co. chairman and chief executive Donald E. Graham.)

Batalion moved to California last summer, but remained technology officer until his resignation Friday.

A LivingSocial spokesman confirmed Batalion’s departure but declined to comment further.

Here is the full text of Batalion’s Web post announcing his resignation:

What an incredible journey it has been since June of 2007, when the four of us knew only our direction, but definitely not our destination. After much soul searching, I have decided to leave LivingSocial to pursue some new ideas. No new adventure to announce yet, just a urge to go create… that there is more to do.

As I look back today, we have processed billions in commerce transactions and have sent tens of billions of emails on technology we created. We took a simple two-week prototype and scaled it to an international business with thousands of fellow employees around the world. We built a culture I am proud of and millions of consumers around the world have experienced their local cities because of our products. More importantly, we created an incredible team with many more strong moves yet to come. Knowing this makes me confident in LivingSocial’s future and the vision of local we have all been fighting for.

I am incredibly proud of what the team has accomplished to date and have been so fortunate to play a role in this amazing journey. My decision to depart has in no way been easy. The experience and, most importantly, the friendships… have been the best of my career.

Always live hungry,

Aaron

Thomas Heath is a local business reporter and columnist, writing about entrepreneurs and various companies big and small in the Washington Metropolitan area. Previously, he wrote about the business of sports for The Post’s sports section for most of a decade.
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