LookSmart Warns, Shuffles Execs

LookSmart lowered its financial guidance for last quarter and announced a shake-up of senior management today.

“The company did not sufficiently deploy sales resources against new advertisers to achieve the projections issued in late October,” said CEO David Hills, who joined the company from 24/7 Real Media in late October.

Despite its optimistic expectations prior to the quarter, the company has revised its guidance for revenue from continuing operations for the fourth quarter of 2004 to $16.5 to $17 million from the previously issued guidance of $18 to 20 million. It has also revised guidance for fourth quarter adjusted net loss to approximately $1.4 to $1.7 million from the original figure of less than $1 million.

In hopes of turning around its business, the company has reorganized its products into two divisions, down from three, and tapped new executives to lead those divisions. Deborah Richman, SVP consumer products, will head up the consumer products division that includes the Net Nanny, Furl.net, and FindArticles. Bryan Everett, SVP sales, will lead the paid listings and syndicated technologies division, which include the company’s LookListings paid listings product, and its syndicated technologies, which are designed to help publishers generate search audiences and revenue.

Richman comes to LookSmart from Web hosting provider About Web Services, where she served as general manager and vice president. Prior to that, she served as vice president of Overstock.com. Most recently, Everett was VP sales for messaging service provider Twelve Horses. He has also held executive sales positions with 24/7 Real Media.

LookSmart has struggled since it lost a critical distribution deal with MSN in October 2003. In 2004, the company slimmed down its work force, and introduced a paid listings product. It acquired Furl.net, a Web archiving service, in September 2004 and named Hills as CEO in October.

For the full year, the Company now expects to report revenue from continuing operations of $77 to $77.5 million, revised from its prior guidance of $78.5 to $80.5 million, both excluding $6 million for discontinued international operations. Adjusted net loss guidance for 2004 has been revised to $9.8 to $10.1 million from less than $9.4 million, both including restructuring charges of approximately $4.2 million.

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