New CEO for Ask.com

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Ask.com eliminates 40 positions as it focuses on new strategy
Ask.com eliminates 40 positions as it focuses on new strategy

IAC Search and Media announced on January 9 that Jim Lanzone would be stepping down as CEO of Ask.com and would be replaced by Jim Safka.

The change is effective immediately. In addition to overseeing Ask.com, Safka will remain CEO of Primal Ventures, a venture entity that identifies new business opportunities for IAC, the company said.

IAC, which is based in Oakland, CA, is the parent company of Ask.com, as well as more than 60 other brands.

The company is in the process of streamlining its operating structure in preparation to divide into five publicly traded companies. As previously announced, HSN, Ticketmaster, Interval International and LendingTree will be spinning off from IAC.

At this time, these changes will not affect Ask.com's sales relationships with online advertisers, said Jonathan Sanchez, a spokesperson for IAC.

Lanzone, who first became CEO of Ask.com in April of 2006, will remain in an advisory role at Ask.com over the next few months, IAC said. After leaving Ask.com, Lanzone plans to serve as an entrepreneur-in-residence at Redpoint Ventures, a venture capital firm with offices in Menlo Park, CA and Los Angeles, as well as Shanghai.

Scott Garell has been named president of Ask.com. He will report Safka and will be responsible for managing the daily business of operations of the company, IAC said.

John Park will replace Garell as CEO of IAC Consumer Applications and Portals, which includes businesses like Smiley Central, CursorMania, Excite.com and My Way. Park is currently executive VP and general manager of toolbars and portals at IAC Consumer Applications & Portals.

Peter Horan, CEO of IAC Media and Advertising, will continue to oversee IAC Advertising Solutions, which offers marketers various advertising opportunities across IAC brands including Ask Sponsored Listings, Evite, Pronto and IAC Mobile.

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