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USWeb founder plans new venture

Joseph Firmage, a controversial figure in the tech world and cofounder of services firm USWeb/CKS, will be one of the heads of a newly formed company.

Joseph Firmage, a controversial figure in the tech world and cofounder of services firm USWeb/CKS, will venture closer to home tomorrow.

Firmage, who stepped aside from his post as chief executive of the Web services and consulting firm last December and ultimately left the company in early January, will be one of the heads of the newly formed company to be announced tomorrow, a USWeb/CKS spokesperson said.

Details of the new venture are sketchy, but Stephen Sigmond, an analyst at Dain Rausher Wessels, a Wall Street investment firm, said he believes Firmage and partners will announce a venture capital-type firm, which he said will be closely linked to e-commerce services.

The USWeb/CKS spokesperson said that the new company is not what one would normally consider an "Internet start-up" but would give no further details.

Firmage, along with USWeb/CKS chief executive Robert Shaw and president Toby Corey, will release the details of the new venture during a press conference to be held tomorrow evening at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

This would be Firmage's informal "welcome back" to the Santa Clara, California-based firm that he helped build to reach annual revenues of $280 million and to a staff of more than 2,000 employees.

Earlier this year, Firmage had decided to leave the firm altogether to move controversy and negative publicity away from the company and its image due to his belief that much of the world's recent technological advancement derives from alien intelligence.

As previously reported, The Truth, a book he is currently writing, details his theories about extraterrestrial influence and the future of humans in space. At that time, he had already spent close to $3 million advertising the book in major national newspapers and on National Public Radio. The campaign he started, began to drive considerable traffic to his Web site, where he had prepublished his book, which is due out in print form early next year.