Internet

Who's living large at Terra Lycos?

An internal document listing salaries of more than 450 employees at the company is leaked to a Web site famous for airing dot-com dirt. The posting is quickly shielded from workers.

An internal document listing the salaries of more than 450 employees at Internet service Terra Lycos was leaked to a Web site famous for airing dot-com dirt, which was quickly shielded from company employees.

The document, which shows the names and salaries of 467 Terra Lycos staff members in alphabetical order, appeared on Wednesday at InternalMemos.com, a 2-month-old site that specializes in floating private corporate memos to the public. The site, which has a free and paid version, is run by Philip Kaplan, the owner of its more popular counterpart F***edCompany.com.

Kaplan said he received several anonymous submissions of the list, and within the same day, Terra Lycos put up a barricade so that its employees couldn't access the site. Nevertheless, he posted it under the umbrella of InternalMemos.com, which costs $45 a month for access to high-priority documents.

Waltham, Mass.-based Terra Lycos could not be immediately reached for comment.

The company becomes the latest red-faced dot-com to land on the rumor-grinder of F***edCompany.com--a notoriously popular site fed by the demise of so many Internet companies. More importantly, it joins the ranks of General Motors, Razorfish and CNET Networks, publisher of News.com, in censoring the site to employees after it aired dirty linen.

Still, such censorship often spurs more interest in the content, said Kaplan, who typically sees traffic spike and subscriptions grow after a major company blocks the site. He said in the last day, he's signed up several new paid accounts for the InternalMemos site.

Apparent employee salaries may be too hard to resist. For example, Bob Davis, former CEO of Terra Lycos, makes roughly $250,000 as a vice chairman, according to the internal document. Davis resigned as CEO in February 2001, shortly after the $6.5 billion merger between Spain's Terra Networks and U.S. Internet company Lycos.

"The more people that block the site, the traffic goes up and up and up," Kaplan said. "There's no better PR than a company saying, 'I forbid you to go to this Web site.'"