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Foursquare's original chief technical officer is the latest to leave the company

Foursquare's original chief technical officer is the latest to leave the company


The company's first hire is moving on to 'somewhere new'

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Foursquare's original chief technical officer has left the company after more than five years, The Verge has learned. Harry Heymann, who was the company's first hire, is stepping down at the end of the week. Heymann is the latest in a string of high-ranking Foursquare executives to depart the company as it pivots from a location-based social network into a Yelp-like local search engine. "Harry Heymann, former SVP of engineering, will be stepping down at the end of the week after more than 5 years leading engineering for the company," a spokeswoman told The Verge in an email. "He will remain an advisor to Foursquare."

Heymann is a longtime ally of Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley who worked together with him on its predecessor, Dodgeball. After joining Foursquare in 2009, Heymann was responsible for staffing and managing much of the company's engineering organization. Business Insider once called him "the behind-the-scenes grind-it-out true believer holding the thing together." Heymann previously spent five years at Google, where he worked on Dodgeball, Google Checkout, and advertising products, according to his LinkedIn profile. Before that, he worked at Microsoft and Intel.

Uncertainty as Foursquare pivots into a Yelp-like search engine

Heymann joins a list of Foursquare executives that have left over the past year that include spokesman Brendan Lewis, chief operating officer Evan Cohen, and head of business development Holger Luedorf. Heymann's departure comes eight months after Foursquare split off its check-in based social networking functions into a separate app, Swarm, that has struggled to gain momentum. One one hand, Heymann worked for Foursquare longer than most, and no one would begrudge him for wanting to do something new after five years. At the same time, given his long association with Crowley and the company, it's a symbolic loss for the company at a time when its prospects are less certain than ever.

The Verge first inquired about Heymann's employment status at Foursquare last month. At the time, a spokesman confirmed Heymann had stepped down from his role leading the engineering organization late last year, but said he would stay on to help build Swarm. Andrew Hogue, who previously led Foursquare's search team, took over engineering. But just three weeks later, Heymann's LinkedIn profile says he is "somewhere new." "I am actively recruiting additional top notch engineers for my team," he writes. "Contact me if you are an engineer and are interested in working with a world class engineering team at a startup with exceptional potential." He did not respond to a request for comment.

Nitasha Tiku contributed to this report.