Rustybrick reports that Jim Safka has taken over as CEO of Ask.com and that Jim Lanzone has joined Redpoint Ventures as an entrepreneur in residence. Some point to the recent increase traffic at ask.com traffic and ask why? It’s hard to tell exactly what terms Jim left under, nevertheless it’s great to see that he either left on his own or was given time to set up this new gig at Redpoint Ventures (if so class move by Mr. Diller). I promise not to overload you with business plan ideas right away but hey reach out to me via phone sometime soon…
In theory, the email admin guy only has to change the email account password – but time will tell there.
Mr. Safka is notable as the first Top 10 MBA executive of a major search engine (someone correct me if I’m wrong on this) and he gets points in my book for having spent time in Chicago as well as his Top 10 MBA is from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.
IAC /Ask.com gave full text bios of Mr. Safka and other executive appointments:
Jim Safka has been named CEO of Ask.com. Effective immediately, he will oversee Ask.com’s global operations. He will also continue in his role as CEO of Primal Ventures, a new-venture entity that identifies seeds and incubates business opportunities for IAC.
Mr. Safka, 39, served as CEO of Match.com from 2004 to 2006. Under his leadership, the company grew revenue and operating income before amortization at an annual rate of 25% and 52% respectively. Today, Match.com has more than 15 million members in 35 countries. Prior to Match.com, he held senior management roles at AT&T Wireless and E*TRADE Financial Corporation, and brand and product management positions at Intuit, Alberto-Culver, Inc., Warner Bros. Inc., and Paramount Pictures. Mr. Safka holds an MBA from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University and a BS in accounting from the University of Southern California.
Scott Garell has been named President of Ask.com, where he will report to Mr. Safka and manage daily business operations worldwide. Since 2005, Mr. Garell has been CEO of IAC Consumer Applications & Portals. Under his leadership the Consumer Applications and Portals businesses (including Fun Web Products, Portals, Evite and Pronto) have grown by 74% in the past 3 years.
Prior to his role as CEO of IAC Consumer Applications & Portals, Mr. Garell, 42, served as Executive Vice President of domestic sites and search, where he managed the division’s destination sites (Ask.com, iWon, and My Way), as well as the optimization of its proprietary information retrieval technologies and products across all brands. Mr. Garell joined IAC Search & Media in April 2004 as Senior Vice President of Marketing. Formerly, Mr. Garell served in senior roles at Computer Associates, Citysearch and Clorox. He holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a bachelor’s degree in political economy from the University of California at Berkeley.
John Park will replace Mr. Garell and is named President of IAC Consumer Applications and Portals, which includes Smiley Central, Webfetti, Zwinky, My Fun Cards, CursorMania, Popular Screensavers, Excite.com, iWon, and My Way. Mr. Park is currently Executive Vice President and General Manager of Toolbars and Portals at IAC Consumer Applications & Portals and has served in various senior management roles in the company since 1999. Under his leadership, the Fun Web Products Business has become one of the fastest growing businesses at IAC.
Mr. Park, 38, joined IAC Search; Media from Interactive Search Holdings, which he joined in 1999 as Group Vice President of Product Management and where he was responsible for the original development of iWon.com and MyWay.com, as well as the revamping of Excite.com following the 2001 acquisition of the brand from @Home. Prior to ISH, Mr. Park held senior product development and management roles at Ameritrade, Prodigy Services and New York Web. He earned a BS in Information Systems and Management from New York University.
Peter Horan, CEO of IAC Media and Advertising since January 2007, will continue to oversee IAC Advertising Solutions as well as Evite, Pronto, IAC Mobile and Ask Sponsored Listings.
Mr. Horan, 52, has spent more than 30 years in media and advertising. As CEO of About.com he pioneered the company’s turnaround and its sale to The New York Times Company. He served as President & CEO of DevX.com, an Internet media company that was later acquired by JupiterMedia Corporation. Mr. Horan spent 10 years at International Data Group, a global technology media company, where he spearheaded relationships with top advertisers and served as Senior Vice President and Publisher of Computerworld. Prior to that, he spent more than 15 years in senior account management roles at leading advertising agencies, including BBDO and Ogilvy & Mather.
I look forward to meeting and learning about all these new senior Ask.com executives and their plans. Good luck to Jim Lanzone, Jim Safka and everyone else in their new roles.