NetZero Names New Chairman And CEO

Westlake Village, CA-based NetZero Inc. a free, ad-backed ISP, named marketing veteran Mark R. Goldston as chairman CEO.

Ronald T. Burr, 34, NetZero’s former CEO and co-founder of the company, will become president and chief technology officer. NetZero said it has attracted more than 800,000 subscribers since its mid-October 1998 launch.

Goldston, 44, joins NetZero from The Goldston Group, a strategic advisory firm that he founded. Most recently the firm helped reposition technology pioneer Silicon Graphics Inc. and assisted with changing the name of the company to SGI in April 1999.

Prior to forming the Goldston Group, Goldston served as president of L.A. Gear from 1991-1994, where he invented and still holds several patents on the company’s L.A. Lights and Light Gear lighted shoes. He helped conceptualize, design and roll out the Einstein Bros. Bagel chain during 1995-1997 and served as the CEO of that enterprise.

Goldston also served as the chief marketing officer for Reebok International Ltd. In 1986, Goldston was named president of Faberge.

“NetZero has experienced phenomenal growth in the last six months and spawned an entire class of subsidized free goods and services while redefining the business model of Internet access and online advertising,” said Bill Gross, chairman of Pasadena-based idealab! and a director and investor in NetZero.

“Mark’s vast consumer product experience and track record with both emerging and Fortune 500 companies make him the right person to take NetZero to the next level and beyond.

“Ron Burr is the visionary who founded the company, proved that its model works, and inspired the free Internet access phenomenon,” Gross said. “With Mark Goldston and Ron Burr, NetZero has in place a superlative management team that can make NetZero into a powerhouse medium for advertisers and a household name for consumers.”

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