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Mr. Internet steps down

Joichi Ito, known as "Mr. Internet" in Japan, steps down as president of PSINet Japan to devote himself to his start-up company, Digital Garage.

Joichi Ito, the man known as "Mr. Internet" in Japan, is stepping down as president of PSINet Japan to devote his full attention to his start-up company, Digital Garage, PSINet has announced.

But Ito's relationship with the company is far from over. Ito will remain on the PSINet Japan board of directors.

PSINet Japan also announced that Digital Garage will become a PSI partner to sell its Internet and Web services in Japan. In addition, Digital Garage will use PSINet Japan to comarket and codevelop Internet business applications in electronic commerce.

PSINet will invest in Digital Garage and William L. Schrader, chairman, president, and chief executive officer of PSINet, will accept a seat on the Digital Garage board of directors.

"When PSINet first entered the Japanese market in 1994, we nearly stumbled as we attempted to adapt to the early stages of the Tokyo Internet market," Schrader said in a written statement. "We recruited Joi in 1995 to provide the entrepreneurial leadership required to place the PSINet name on an equal footing with the leading Internet service providers in Japan and to develop relationships with the strongest of the trading companies in Japan."