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Pointcast COO to replace Dorman

COO Philip Koen will become chief executive, replacing Dave Dorman, bound for an AT&T-BT joint venture. Sources say Dorman will stay on to help try to attract telco investors.

Pointcast chief operating officer Philip Koen tomorrow will be named the company's chief executive, replacing Dave Dorman, who will become CEO of the AT&T-British Telecom joint venture, sources said.

In an interesting twist, Dorman is expected to remain chairman of Pointcast's board, helping to complete negotiations to attract investors in the privately held "push" company. Although his departure is a blow to Pointcast's plans to form a joint venture with Baby Bells focusing on high-speed Internet access, sources said the deal with the telcos remains under serious negotiation.

Pointcast's goal remains to Dorman Newsmaker create a venture for the Bells that is similar to @Home, the high-speed Net access service run by cable companies. One sticking point in the talks involves getting multiple parties in different geographical locations to agree to terms for a national broadband venture, sources said. They did not discuss any timetable for completing the deal.

Sources downplayed the possibility that Dorman's dual roles at AT&T and Pointcast might hinder negotiations with the Bells, arguing that the AT&T-BT joint venture is an independent undertaking. AT&T and the Bells are fierce competitors under deregulation.

Pointcast's board accepted Dorman's resignation tonight. Koen's appointment, which also includes his becoming president, is effective immediately. AT&T is expected to announce Dorman's new post tomorrow as well.

Pointcast and AT&T both declined comment.

Dorman was recruited to Pointcast with much fanfare. His goal was to take the company public last year, but that plan was withdrawn while the company tried to find a strategic partner.

Dorman is returning to an industry where he spent most of his career. Before coming to Pointcast, he was executive vice president of SBC. The CEO title at the AT&T-BT joint venture is a bigger job than running Pointcast, although Dorman previously expressed a strong desire to take a Silicon Valley company public.

According to Pointcast's Web site, COO and executive vice president Koen has more than 22 years of experience in general management, operations, and finance. He previously was vice president of finance and chief financial officer of Etec. Koen also is expected to become a Pointcast director.