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Photo: Flipboard

Mobile news app Flipboard has hired Kal Amin, a former Spotify and AOL executive, to be its chief operating officer, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The move comes as Flipboard looks to seize on interest in reliable news sources—and shoots for profitability.

Amin started over the last couple of weeks and is one of several executives hired over the past nine months, including head of sales Mike Owen, who came from AdColony, and head of finance Cal Ito, who came from Amazon's A9 unit.

"As people start to realize they need a place to reliably go to read about the things they care about, it’s time for us to seize that moment, whether it is on the product or on the management team," CEO Mike McCue told Axios.

Humans, not robots: On the product side, McCue said to expect the company to double down on human curation. There are already 35 million user-generated Flipboard "magazines," but the company will add other formats in the coming months, he said.

And, he notes, curating news and selling advertising isn't that different from Amin's past job helping build an advertising business around curated playlists.

"One of the things I really love about Kal is, not only is he an amazing operator, he helped build the ad business at Spotify from scratch," McCue said.

Aiming for profitability: Despite the new executives, McCue said overall headcount has remained roughly flat at around 145 for the past couple of years, as the company looks to keep a lid on expenses in order to reach profitability.

"We believe we can get to that goal without having to raise any more cash," he said.

Go deeper

Tech scrambles to derail inauguration threats

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Tech companies are sharing more information with law enforcement in a frantic effort to prevent violence around the inauguration, after the government was caught flat-footed by the Capitol siege.

Between the lines: Tech knows it will be held accountable for any further violence that turns out to have been planned online if it doesn't act to stop it.

Dave Lawler, author of World
5 hours ago - World

Uganda's election: Museveni declared winner, Wine claims fraud

Wine rejected the official results of the election. Photo: Sumy Sadruni/AFP via Getty

Yoweri Museveni was declared the winner of a sixth presidential term on Saturday, with official results giving him 59% to 35% for Bobi Wine, the singer-turned-opposition leader.

Why it matters: This announcement was predictable, as the election was neither free nor fair and Museveni had no intention of surrendering power after 35 years. But Wine — who posed a strong challenged to Museveni, particularly in urban areas, and was beaten and arrested during the campaign — has said he will present evidence of fraud. The big question is whether he will mobilize mass resistance in the streets.

Off the Rails

Episode 1: A premeditated lie lit the fire

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 1: Trump’s refusal to believe the election results was premeditated. He had heard about the “red mirage” — the likelihood that early vote counts would tip more Republican than the final tallies — and he decided to exploit it.

"Jared, you call the Murdochs! Jason, you call Sammon and Hemmer!”