Ask.com CEO Jim Lanzone has left the company as part of a management shuffle that includes the appointments of a new CEO from the ranks of InterActiveCorp/IAC as well as two presidents.
Jim Safka, until now CEO of IAC's Primal Ventures incubation arm, will replace Lanzone as chief of the search unit while retaining his current post. The 39 year-old Safka was previously CEO of Match.com from 2004 through 2006, and once held senior roles at AT&T Wireless and ETrade.
Other appointments include those of Scott Garell as Ask.com president and John Park, who replaces Garell as president of IAC consumer applications and portals.
Lanzone has accepted a role as entrepreneur-in-residence at Redpoint Ventures, a venture capital firm that once invested in Ask.com and whose portfolio now includes online video platform Adap.tv and Airplay, a provider of wireless games. Other Redpoint-backed firms have included search agency Efficient Frontier, e-mail marketer Responsys, eBureau and Excite.
The changes come as IAC prepares to spin off its diverse holdings into five separate companies. Under that plan, HSN, Ticketmaster, Interval International, and LendingTree will each become distinct businesses, while IAC will retain 40 Web- and ad-related companies, including Ask.com, Match.com, iWon, Zwinky, Evite, Excite, and Citysearch.
Announced in tandem with the split-up was the decision to extend Ask.com's syndication of Google's search ads for five years in a deal worth approximately $3.5 billion. However, the company has also taken steps to diversify its ad income, including by launching a contextual ad network to supplement its Ask Sponsored Listings program.
Peter Horan, CEO of IAC Media and Advertising, will continue to oversee Ask.com.
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March 19, 2014