Digg CEO’s departure further buries the company

The CEO of what was once the most popular socially-driven news site has now dug himself out of the company, leaving Digg’s original founder to take the spot as chief executive.

Last week, Jay Adelson was a 29-year-old CEO of one of the hottest online properties. That is, it used to be… Today, Adelson is looking ahead to new entrepreneurial endeavors as he has cut his ties with the news aggregation Web site. When Digg was first created, it quickly skyrocketed into online popularity as the first site of its kind. Users can share a news story and then send it to their friends. If the friends like it, they can “digg” it and pass it on. As the stories go viral, the ones with the most diggs are featured on Digg.com’s landing site where they can draw thousands of hits in a matter of minutes.

However, like most online fads, Digg’s power is fading. It can put the blame almost solely on Facebook, which is becoming one of the top destinations for online news sharing anywhere. But other sources, like Google’s aggregated news site, also take away from Digg’s relevance. According to the New York Times, Digg is in the middle of a struggle as it works to find ways to use a recent $40 million venture capital investment that has heretofore been fruitless. Digg users are dropping by the millions and the site is struggling to remain relevant. For Adelson, it marked a good time to exit. For his successor, Kevin Rose, the man who originally founded Digg, it’s a chance to re-prove his creative strength. “While I’ll miss working with Jay day-to-day, I am excited to be taking on the role of Chairman and acting CEO, driving Digg forward on our promise to enable social curation of the world’s content and the conversation around it,” said Rose in an open letter.