Horan to Depart IAC, Join Goodmail as CEO

Internet veteran Peter Horan is leaving his post as CEO of IAC Media & Advertising to head up certified e-mail player Goodmail Systems.

Horan told ClickZ his move was motivated by a belief Goodmail is at the forefront of a business area that’s prepped to explode. “At IAC, I’d been running the Media and Advertising group, which was doing $250 million in business,” he said. “But as I started to look at Goodmail and get to know the team and the opportunity, I really became convinced that this was one of those rare opportunities to build a genuinely large company.”

Horan joined IAC in January 2007 and was given oversight of Ask.com, Citysearch, and Evite, prior to which he was CEO at AllBusiness.com. He departs IAC at a time of significant upheaval for the company, which recently bid farewell to Ask.com CEO Jim Lanzone as part of a management shake-up and repositioned the search engine to focus on questions-based search activity and a core audience of women.

Goodmail’s only product, CertifiedEmail, is billed as a safe method for consumers to identify authentic e-mail “from legitimate commercial and nonprofit e-mail senders.” CertifiedEmail messages include a secure token and show up in e-mail inboxes with a special icon.

“Consumers have become so afraid of scam, spam and phishing they are shutting down business-to-consumer e-mail,” said Horan. “Fifty-five percent said they don’t even want to open email from their bank [fearing it’s phony]. But e-mail communication to customers is a lifeline for a lot of marketers.”

Horan said his optimism about Goodmail is founded in the company’s growth. He said the company certified 1.3 billion messages in March and 1.6 billion in April. “In June or July, we will probably go over the 2 billion mark,” he predicted.

Goodmail Systems SVP Worldwide Sales and Marketing David Atlas said areas of expansion for the company could include e-mailed video and timed delivery of messages, such as offers for concert tickets right before they go on sale.

“Ads should be built on the base of CertifiedEmail,” said Horan. “We will start to do a series of value-added vertical products tailored to different groups of senders.”

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