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j2 CEO resigns as stock languishes

j2 Global Communications' chief executive is resigning as the company's stock is in growing danger of being delisted from the Nasdaq trading boards.

j2 Global Communications' chief executive is resigning as the company's stock is in growing danger of being delisted from the Nasdaq trading boards.

Once known as Jfax, j2 was one of the earliest companies to create a Web-based fax service. It showed early promise, with the service picked up by Yahoo and publicized to Yahoo Mail customers.

At the height of the company's arc, it struck several deals with telephone companies and appeared to be a reasonable candidate for a buyout by a company looking for Internet technology.

But that never materialized. Instead, the company bought chief competitor eFax and changed its name as it moved into a broader range of Net-based communications services.

The move failed to catch investors' imaginations, however. Never a highflier, the company's stock has trailed steadily downward for a year. For the last month, it has hovered at and often slipped well below the $1 range, a condition which threatens its position on the Nasdaq exchange.

Friday, CEO Steven Hamerslag said he would resign in favor of a management committee.

"I joined j2 with the goal of broadening its services and expanding its sales focus to corporate users," Hamerslag said. "Having achieved those goals, as well as completing the eFax merger, I've decided to move on to new challenges."

At midday trading, the company's stock had fallen another 13 percent to 62 cents.