May 9, 2013

CEO leaves Portland high-tech start-up CashStar

David Douglas Stone co-founded the company, which runs digital gift card programs for retailers.

By J. Craig Anderson canderson@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

CashStar co-founder and CEO David Douglas Stone has left the Portland-based high-tech firm, according to the company's website.

click image to enlarge

David Douglas Stone, co-founder of CashStar, is no longer with the company.

2011 Press Herald file photo/John Ewing

The website no longer lists Stone as CEO. Instead, California-based entrepreneur Steven Boal is listed as interim CEO. Boal is also a company co-founder and is chairman of the board of directors.

No further explanation for Stone's departure is provided on the website, and company officials did not return phone messages Thursday.

Founded in late 2008, CashStar operates digital gift card programs for major retailers. According to the company's website, it has since grown to 85 staffers and has landed national retail clients, including Starbucks, Home Depot and CVS.

CashStar's chain store clients sell electronic gift cards online through websites run by the company. Consumers can custom-design electronic cards with videos, photographs and personalized messages.

CashStar is generally regarded as a successful tech start-up and a bright spot in Portland's economy. The company is located in downtown Portland.

Stone, a former American Express executive who helped create the Amex Gift Cheque program, co-founded CashStar in 2008 with Boal, CEO of Mountain View, Calif.-based digital coupon company Coupons.com.

In an interview with the Portland Press Herald in 2011, Stone talked about ambitious plans for the company, including tripling its work force. The company at the time had 50 employees.

CashStar launched with $3 million from private investors and received more than $500,000 in so-called "conditional loans" from the Maine Technology Institute, which provides capital to companies with promising technology. Conditional loans require an equal match by the company and must be paid back if the venture is successful.

J. Craig Anderson can be contacted at 791-6390 or at:

canderson@pressherald.com

Twitter: @jcraiganderson

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