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Flipboard's Fanfare Fades as Executives Exit, Sale Talks Stall

  • Mobile app's innovative reader debuted with iPad hype in 2010
  • Startup's struggle underscores questions about tech valuations
An attendee reads a Los Angeles Times newspaper article using the Flipboard app on an iPad.

An attendee reads a Los Angeles Times newspaper article using the Flipboard app on an iPad.

Photographer: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images
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Flipboard Inc. debuted in 2010 with the kind of fanfare any startup would envy. The news-reading app piggybacked perfectly on the debut of Apple’s iPad tablet and Steve Jobs’s promise of a new era for digital media. Critics loved Flipboard’s magazine-like layout, created by one of the first software designers of the iPhone, and investors poured money into the company.

Almost five years later, Flipboard is struggling to live up to the praise. Several senior executives have departed, including co-founder Evan Doll, and talks to sell the company haven’t reached the finish line, according to people familiar with the plans, who asked not be named discussing private matters.