Webvan CEO Quits

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George Shaheen resigned on Friday as the CEO of the Webvan Group, an online grocer, ending an 18-month tenure.


In a prepared statement, Shaheen said the firm needed new leadership as it tried to cut costs and use its dwindling cash to survive until next year, when it plans to turn its first profit.


Webvan's board plans to say this week whether it will begin a search to replace Shaheen, who previously was the chief executive of Andersen Consulting, or whether Robert Swan, Webvan's chief operating officer, will be promoted.


Backed by venture-capital firms, Webvan has spent about $1 billion to run its operations and advertise its service. The company built large warehouses in about a dozen cities and has run numerous TV and radio ads.


However, Webvan has been largely unsuccessful getting consumers to go online for groceries. The firm has said it will need to raise between $40 million and $60 million to stay in business past 2001.


The firm's stock price landed at 10 cents at the end of yesterday. Nasdaq warned Webvan in January that it could be delisted if its shares do not rise above $1.


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