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Where are last year’s Internet top 10?

Mar 5, 2001  •  Post A Comment

A lot can happen in one year, especially in the Internet arena. Given the industry’s changing environment during the past 12 months, Electronic Media decided to check on the individuals named on its 2000 list of “10 Internet Executives You Can’t Afford to Ignore” to see what they’re doing today.
Rob Burgess
Previous title: Chairman and CEO of Macromedia and Shockwave.com.
Current title: Same.
While other online entertainment companies were hit hard in 2000, Macromedia’s Shockwave.com-and its lead executive Rob Burgess-weathered the storm. In addition to signing more Hollywood talent, including Jim Belushi, Ben Stein and Devo, to develop online content, Shockwave launched the Japanese version of its site and debuted Shockmachine 2.0, the next generation of its entertainment player.
In January, Shockwave finalized its merger with next-generation entertainment company AtomFilms. Mr. Burgess is chairman of the newly combined company.
Tim Carruthers
Previous title: President of Webcasts.com.
Current title: Senior director of the professional services organization at iBEAM.
It’s been almost a year since Webcasts.com was acquired by iBEAM, and Tim Carruthers is pleased with the integration.
“The cool thing that’s happened at iBEAM is we’ve kept our focus as a company. We’ve moved aggressively into the enterprise space, which is ripe and continues to be a strong revenue generator for us. We’ve integrated the Webcasts.com and NextVenue product groups in an effective way and continue to do so to add more value to the overall iBEAM offering,” he said. But the offering Mr. Carruthers said he’s most excited about is the Activecast product group, which originated with Webcasts.com.
“It has really taken a strong position within the corporation and has done very well for iBEAM,” he said. “It feels good to know that
we came up with some good ideas and that those ideas are still valid in the market after all this change.”
Bruce Crowley
Previous title: President of HyperTV Networks.
Current title: President of ACTV Enhanced Media Services.
Bruce Crowley may still be with ACTV, but his job description-and the company-has evolved. “We’re really committed to enhanced media,” Mr. Crowley said. “And our view of enhanced media goes beyond enhanced TV.” As president of ACTV Enhanced Media Services, Mr. Crowley is now responsible for HyperTV; eSchool Online, an education subsidiary; and Bottle Rocket, an online interactive game company that ACTV acquired in August 2000.
“Besides sports and music, the genre that we think lends itself best to enhanced media today is the play-along game environment,” Mr. Crowley said. “So we bought Bottle Rocket, a pre-eminent online game developer.” Last month ACTV also acquired Intellocity, a technology and engineering solutions provider focusing on the interactive television market. The company is also looking to extend its services to devices.
John Evershed
Previous title: Co-founder and CEO of Mondo Media.
Current title: Same.
Thanks to lots of patience and a solid business plan, John Evershed and Mondo Media outlasted the dozens of online entertainment companies that flooded the Web last year.
“We didn’t get caught up in the hype, and we’ve just been slogging away at this,” Mr. Evershed said. “And we’ve got a good lineup of content and good distribution.”
Mondo is now syndicating 12 weekly shows, including its original mini-shows “Thugs on Film” and “The God & Devil Show.” Mr. Evershed said the company also licensed “Thugs on Film” to the BBC and is expected to sign two more TV deals and one feature deal by the end of the year. “We’re creating characters here,” Mr. Evershed said. “And just like most characters, they end up on everything from lunch boxes to features films. Good entertainment companies conceive of their intellectual property in the grand sense, and that’s how you’re able to successfully establish a business.”
Rob Glaser
Previous title: Chairman and CEO of RealNetworks.
Current title: Same.
As the role of streaming media on the Internet grew exponentially last year, Rob Glaser and his company RealNetworks continue to dominate the space.
“RealNetworks has become the nexus point for Internet media delivery worldwide,” Mr. Glaser said. “We deliver from any platform, in any format, to any device. No other company takes the global, universal and platform-independent approach we do.”
This universal media-delivery platform, RealSystem iQ, is just one of RealNetworks’ achievements of this past year. Others include RealSystem 8 and the GoldPass Subscription Service, which gives subscribers access to a variety of programming, software and services. As for 2001 and beyond, Mr. Glaser said RealNetworks will continue on its same forward-thinking track.
Reid Johnson
Previous title: Founder and president of Internet Broadcasting Systems.
Current title: Same.
Web-based businesses took a beating last year, but Internet Broadcasting Systems’ Reid Johnson said he never felt a thing. “I guess in our business it’s sort of like feast or failure,” he said. “But it’s been a fantastic year for us.”
In addition to expanding into 53 markets, IBS is planning to launch its next generation of sites this spring. Mr. Johnson said the sites will be able to be personalized, and from a technological standpoint they “will be like going from black and white to color.”
“The core of our sites is very strong local news and local weather,” Mr. Johnson said, “and since the printing press, that’s always been a strong offering. So there’s a strong demand. And in the media business, it all ends up being how good your content is-and our content is fantastic.”
Jim Moloshok
Previous title: President and CEO of Warner Bros. Entertaindom.com.
Current title: Founder, managing director of Windsor Digital.
Just weeks after EM wrote about Jim Moloshok last March, he left his job as president and CEO of Warner Bros.’ Entertaindom.com. Less than one year later, Entertaindom folded.
“It’s a good time to be Switzerland,” joked Mr. Moloshok of his current role as founder and managing director of Windsor Digital, a new media company in the Westwood area of Los Angeles. He set up the firm with former co-architects of Entertaindom.com Jim Bannister and Jeff Wiener, and former Warner Bros. Chairman and Co-CEO Terry Semel.
The Windsor Group’s activities have been held closely under wraps. “We’re working with a number of new media companies as well as established media companies to create a new type of entertainment company,” was the most Mr. Moloshok would divulge. “The biggest lesson I learned in moving from the syndication business to running a company is the less people know about your aspirations, the easier it is to accomplish them.”
He did let on that his greatest wish would be to create the “ultimate cross-media experience” for a mainstream consumer.
Joanna Shields
Previous title: CEO of Veon.
Current title: Same.
After last year’s stock market roller-coaster ride, Joanna Shields said she’s proud that Veon is one of the Internet companies left standing. “We’re one of the lucky ones,” Ms. Shields said. “We had a great year. We had a vision to create a unified offering platform for rich media for the Web and other devices, and we did it. We delivered, and that’s why we’re having a successful outcome vs. other companies that didn’t have the technology to back them up.”
Ms. Shields also said Veon is in the process of being acquired by “a giant,” and she is “thrilled about the outcome.”
“We’ve found a perfect technological fit for our products and our strategy within this company,” she said. “We worked very hard to build this [technology], and we found the right place for it.”
Alex Thompson
Previous title: President and CEO of Mixed Signals Technologies.
Current title: n/a.
Though Alex Thompson helped found Mixed Signals Technologies in 1997, last month she announced her plans to step down as president and CEO. The positions were filled by Caroline Beck,
who most recently served as chief operating officer at Intertainer.
“[Alex] felt it was a good move for the company,” a spokesperson for MST said. “She’s still a member of the board of directors and will still be involved with the company.”
During the past year, before Ms. Thompson’s departure, MST continued to develop its technologies and expand its client base. The company is responsible for more than 20 hours of interactive programming each week, working with long-term partners such as Game Show Network and Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment and newer partners such as Discovery Science Channel, E! Entertainment Television and HBO.
Roger Keating
Previous title: Founder, president and CEO of Zatso.
Current title: n/a.
Zatso closed its doors in October 2000 because of lack of funding. Mr. Keating was unavailable for comment.