Flock CEO steps down

Bart Decrem, founder of Web browser startup Flock, has stepped down as CEO and is looking to build another company, PE Week has learned.

Decrem says his departure isn’t tied to anything wrong with the company. He just knew he would be in search of a new challenge and out of the top spot as far back as a year-and-a-half ago, when he was shopping the company to potential investors. He will remain involved with the Mountain View, Calif.-based company (Flock) as chairman, advisor and shareholder.

The company has hired a headhunter in search of a new CEO and the board is interviewing candidates, Decrem says.

Investors deny the move came at the bequest of the last round of financing, which closed in thes summer. “This development has been anticipated since the day we started the company, and if it’s happening sooner than anyone expected, it’s only because of the traction we’re getting with partners that taxes the team for experience and resources,” says David Cowan, a general partner of Bessemer Venture Partners.

Flock has raised $3.2 million in two rounds from Bessemer, Shasta Ventures, Catamount Ventures, eBay executive Gil Penchina, angel investor Josh Kopelman and former Excite executive Joe Kraus. “The price of entering the browser space is going up and we may have to raise more money,” Decrem says. “It’s a long-term play that’s going to take a while time to succeed. Firefox took five years.”

The company has set aside shares for an executive team and Decrem does not anticipate being diluted.

Flock is something of a canary in the mineshaft for Web 2.0 startups. Its Web browser, which is based on the open source Mozilla code, promises to make it easier to share photographs, search the Internet and stay up to date on news. It is one of the first next-generation Internet startups to seek professional management to replace its founder.