Michael Mayor will leave NetCreations May 6 after a seven-year stint at what once was one of the most celebrated e-mail list managers nationwide.
The Internet executive departs of his own accord 10 months after NetCreations' sale to New York e-mail services provider Return Path Inc. A seasoned traveler, speaker and evangelist for online marketing, he decided to step off the treadmill.
“I've no plans yet,” Mayor said in New York. “The most attractive thing for me is that I can spend some time with my family. I haven't had two weeks' vacation in a row for the past 17 years.”
Mayor's departure comes a month after Return Path's acquisition of e-mail whitelist Bonded Sender from IronPort Systems. His leaving coincides with a gradual phase-out of the twice-sold NetCreations' name, though its Postmaster Direct and Survey Direct products retain their brands.
NetCreations began in 1998. Founders Rosalind Resnick — a former journalist — and Ryan Scott, along with Mayor as director of sales and marketing, comprised the opening team as the market for e-mail lists was developing.
NetCreations was first sold in 2001 for more than $100 million, a record deal for an online list firm. The buyer, SEAT-owned French database marketing firm Consodata, named Mayor president.
Database giant Acxiom, Little Rock, AR, in March 2004 bought only the European part of Consodata. This left NetCreations orphaned and prime for sale in June 2004 to Return Path.
“It's becoming increasingly more difficult [for an e-mail list company] because it's one aspect of e-mail marketing,” Mayor said. “E-mail marketing is bigger than just one piece. So the more pieces you have, the more of a total solution you can provide to your clients.
“I think there's tremendous upside for e-mail marketing now. We have, as an industry, made it through the tough times, and many people are starting to ramp up in e-mail.”
NetCreations had 30 employees last year. That staff is now part of the 80 executives at Return Path, handling the new owner's list, data and consumer business. IBM, FedEx Kinko's and Motorola are key NetCreations clients, while Polo Ralph Lauren, Williams-Sonoma and Sprint are Return Path's.
“Our plans for that business are no different from Mike's departing,” Return Path CEO Matt Blumberg said. “Certainly Mike is a wonderful guy. He and I are quite friendly. We're sad to see him leave. He's been quite happy to have delivered NetCreations successfully to its new owner and is taking a well-earned break.”
The NetCreations business will combine with Return Path's e-mail change of address service, with an expansion in lead generation. Mayor will advise Return Path when called on. He has been named a Return Path Fellow.
So what will Mayor do next?
“My being in the online space for the past seven years has ruined me for traditional marketing,” he said. “Prior to NetCreations, I spent 13 years at Hearst Magazines and, as they say, you can never go back. I really love interactive marketing, and after some time, I plan to dive back in one form or another.”
Mickey Alam Khan covers Internet marketing campaigns and e-commerce, agency news as well as circulation for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters