Jeff Glueck Passes the Torch as David Shim Steps up to Foursquare CEO

David Shim, the founder of location-based attribution solution Placed, which was purchased earlier this year by location intelligence firm Foursquare, is taking over as Foursquare’s CEO. Shim, who was named president when he joined the company in June, is also joining Foursquare’s board of directors.

In a post on LinkedIn, outgoing CEO Jeff Glueck said he was looking forward to exploring new directions after leading Foursquare through one of the most successful pivots in the location tech industry. The consumer-facing company once primarily known for asking users to check in at commercial venues deployed its powerful understanding and store of location data to become a booming B2B business, serving insights to half the Fortune 100.

“Jeff stewarded Foursquare’s reinvention as a data powerhouse,” said Mike Boland, Street Fight’s lead analyst. “Maturing from last decade’s consumer check-in darling, it’s accomplished the rare feat of pivoting into adulthood as a successful B2B play for location intelligence. Within that crowded field, it sits at the top with more than $100 million in revenue, 100+ million measurable mobile devices, $150 million in funding, 100+ engineers working on location, and POI data for more than 100+ million locations. This “100-club” status was achieved on Jeff’s watch.”

Shim now faces the challenge of steering a fast-growing tech business through uncertain times for data-driven companies. While location tech is a lucrative business that provides crucial insights for brick-and-mortar companies and has yet to hit peak productivity, the industry is also facing concerns of an unprecedented scale about how much it knows about the people who power its insights.

The most significant statewide privacy bill in the US, California’s CCPA, is slated to go into effect just next month. Privacy legislation is in the works in some other 10 states, and the issue is grabbing the attention of major news outlets and presidential candidates. There is widespread talk of federal privacy legislation or the possibility of an agency to oversee the issue.

Foursquare is aspiring to set itself up as a leader on privacy. Glueck himself called for federal legislation in the New York Times this fall, laying out best practices including transparent and simple privacy policies, demanding opt-in collection policies from vendors, and cooperating with trustworthy companies.

As Glueck wrote, industry “standards evolve,” and if public, especially press, attention is any indication, ethical and commercial standards for location data are set to evolve swiftly. Now, it is Shim’s job to manage Foursquare’s attempts to set the bar.

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Joe Zappa is the Managing Editor of Street Fight. He joined Street Fight as a contributing writer in 2015, has compiled the daily newsletter since 2016, and has spearheaded the newsroom's editorial operations since 2018. Shoot him an email at jzappa@streetfightmag.com.
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