A former Banchory Academy pupil was on the verge of selling his company to international news network CNN this week, in a deal reportedly worth $200m.
Pete Cashmore, 26, grew up in the Deeside town and is CEO and founder of social news website Mashable, which he set up in his bedroom.
He founded it in 2005 at the age of 19, as a blog focused on up-to-the-minute news on social networks and digital trends.
He left school two years late due to poor health and decided to pursue the emerging world of social media instead.
Mashable quickly grew to be one of the most profitable blogs in the world and many leading publications declared it the most influential online news outlet and a must-read site.
In the past, Pete has reportedly said of his job: “If people ask what I do, I tell them I write about the web and cover new stuff that’s happening. That’s the simplest way I can put it.”
He moved to San Francisco in 2008 to build up his business, but reportedly said he gets his best work done in Scotland.
Pete, who has been described as “the planet’s sexiest geek,” “internet playboy,” and “Brad Pitt of the blogosphere,” now divides his time between Scotland, San Francisco and New York, where the company is headquartered.
He reportedly said: “When I’m working, I prefer not being distracted, so Banchory is a great place to be. It distances you from everything that’s happening in San Francisco and New York, which I like. It lets you take that step back.”
Award-winning site Mashable attracts 20 million users a month and has more than 2.2million followers on Twitter.
The website is best known for social media and technology, though it has expanded into business and entertainment. Features include breaking stories generated by Facebook and Twitter, the latest developments and innovations in technology, business, entertainment and world news.
Pete and his Canadian girlfriend Lisa Bettany, have been dating for two years after meeting at a blogging conference in Las Vegas - and their romance blossomed on Facebook.
Pete was named one of Ad Age’s 2011 influencers, a Time Magazine 100 in 2010, and a Forbes magazine web celeb 25. He was also named a Briton of the year by the Telegraph in 2010.
Mashable turned down an acquisition offer from internet provider AOL in 2010. If CNN’s acquisition of Mashable goes ahead, it is understood to be the highest amount paid for a news site that specialises in technology and social media.