NetCreations CEO Resnick to Retire

NetCreations Inc. CEO and co-founder Rosalind Resnick said yesterday she plans to retire at the end of the year. Her decision comes exactly one year after the company was acquired by Turin, Italy-based yellow pages publisher and Internet service provider SEAT Pagine Gialle SpA.

Michael Mayor, president and chief operating officer, will manage NetCreations' day-to-day operations after Resnick leaves. He will report directly to Consodata Group North America's senior vice president Marie-Laure Sauty de Chalon. Consodata, based in France, is a provider of business-to-consumer marketing information and e-mail marketing services. Mayor will retain his title of president/chief operating officer.

Resnick, 42, co-founded NetCreations with Ryan Scott Druckenmiller in 1995. She began her career in 1980 as a journalist at the Baltimore Sun. She also spent some time as a reporter for fashion publisher Fairchild Publications in New York. From 1984 to 1989, Resnick was a business reporter for the Miami Herald.

She got her start on the Internet in 1994 as editor and publisher of Interactive Publishing Alert, a semimonthly newsletter tracking trends in online publishing and advertising.

Resnick has been a staunch advocate of the double opt-in method of e-mail marketing since she founded the company and has not changed her mind about the practice.

“I will always believe [double opt-in] is the gold standard of e-mail marketing,” Resnick said.

However, NetCreations has been softening its stance on double opt-in lately. At the Direct Marketing Association's 18th Annual Catalog Conference in June, the company announced the expansion of its business-to-business e-mail marketing services to include management of opt-in e-mail newsletters and house files. It also said it would offer newsletter sponsorships. Of the company's database of more than 40 million e-mail names, 15 percent are from the BTB segment, Resnick said then.

Mayor said NetCreations will not give up on double opt-in now that Resnick is leaving.

“She and I worked together very closely for the past four years,” Mayor said. “We shared a vision of what e-mail marketing is all about.”

Mayor acknowledged that NetCreations has tested single opt-in for some of its clients.

“The reality is we have 500 list owners [as clients],” he said. “We tested single opt-in for six of them. That's barely 1 percent.”

The company signed 15 new double opt-in clients in the past 60 days, he said.

“We're coming off a stronger quarter than we anticipated,” Mayor said. “We went back to a basic strategy three or four months ago. We're getting back to the thing we do best — e-mail marketing.”

Meanwhile, Resnick said her decision to leave NetCreations was not prompted by SEAT executives or the company's growing acceptance of single opt-in marketing.

“Even though it was my decision to retire, I feel like it's the right time for me and for the company,” Resnick said. “I have no plans to get back into the e-mail marketing business.”

Resnick said she intends to take the next couple of months to be with her two daughters, ages 12 and 9. She plans to eventually start another business, but said that it will not be Internet related.

“I'm considering building another company from scratch or buying a small one and growing it,” Resnick said. “I plan to spend the next three to six months talking with banks and venture capitalists, just seeing what opportunities are out there. Something tells me I'm going to start the next great American company.”

Resnick said she has been dabbling recently in real estate and may start her own real estate firm.

“I'm closing soon on a rental property in the West Village [New York City],” she said. “Real estate is hard assets. Something tangible. I'm looking at brick and mortar investments.”

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