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CompuServe exec resigns

David Pool, founder of the Spry Internet access wing of CompuServe and executive vice president at CompuServe proper, has resigned from the company.

David Pool, founder of the Spry Internet access division of CompuServe (CSRV), has resigned from the company, CNET has learned.

Pool's resignation comes 17 months after CompuServe acquired Spry to launch the online service into the Internet business. Spry, now CompuServe's Internet division, provides Net access, along with Internet software for home and office use. Pool was also an executive vice president of strategic development at CompuServe.

"David resigned for personal reasons. He's an entrepreneur at heart, and that's the best way I can characterize him," said Bob Massey, CompuServe president and chief executive.

He added that Pool left on amicable terms with the company and that he would not be surprised to see CompuServe do business with any future company run by Pool.

Pool declined to talk about his departure from CompuServe, saying only that he's excited about working toward developing the "next 'Internet in a Box.'" He did not elaborate.

Following the acquisition, Pool in the last nine months moved out of the day-to-day operations of Spry and became involved in CompuServe's strategic development and investor relations. Those duties will now be absorbed at the corporate headquarters, Massey said.

Craig McCallum, who joined Spry in 1994 as a chief financial officer, became vice president and general manager for the CompuServe-owned division and oversaw the daily operations about six months ago.

CompuServe, which posted a first quarter loss of $17.1 million before one-time charges compared with profits of $26.8 million a year ago, is hoping to cut its costs with the sale of Spry's corporate computer software group.

Talks of a pending sale for the software group are currently under way, and Massey said he would not rule out a sale of Spry's overall business. "Everything has a price tag, and I have a fiduciary duty to shareholders," he said.