Former Netscape VP has plans for Mambo

Five months after departing from Netscape Communications, Jennifer Bailey resurfaces as an investor and interim executive at Mambo.com, an online event planner.

Jim Hu Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Jim Hu
covers home broadband services and the Net's portal giants.
Jim Hu
2 min read
Five months after departing from Netscape Communications, Jennifer Bailey, the vice president who played a pivotal role in launching the Netcenter Web portal, has resurfaced as an investor and interim executive at Mambo.com, an online event planner.

Bailey, who left AOL-owned Netscape in April, said she looked at 20 to 30 start-ups before landing at Mambo as interim chief operating officer. She said she decided to leave Netscape because of redundancies in the organizational structure after the merger.

Bailey selected Mambo because of her belief in its brand and the market for online party planners, such as Evite and SeeUthere.com. Joining Mambo also posed opportunities for her to get back into the nitty-gritty of developing a business.

"I wanted to create a new role, which for me is going in on a senior level to Internet start-ups," Bailey said in an interview.

She added that she plans to play an active role for the next four to six months before fading into more of an investor role and moving on to another project.

Bailey joins an ever-expanding list of former Netscape executives who have shifted roles or left the company to pursue entrepreneurial interests since it was acquired by America Online.

In June, Netcenter head Mike Homer was replaced by Jim Martin, formerly of International Data Group. Although rumors continue to circulate regarding Homer's possible departure, he remains in an advisory role at AOL. Homer and Bailey have worked together for the past ten years.

When asked whether she and Homer plan to continue their collaboration, Bailey said: "I like working for Mike; we make a good team. I would always welcome an opportunity to work with him."

Former Netscape chief executive Jim Barksdale, who left in April, launched his own start-up investment fund called the Barksdale Group. Already, he has invested in other start-ups conceived by Netscape veterans, such as Tellme Networks, which combines the telephone and the Internet to provide consumers with information.

Working with Barksdale are Peter Currie, Netscape's former chief administrative officer, and Quincy Smith, Netscape's former investor relations and new business development manager.

Netscape cofounder Jim Clark has launched three companies focusing on a range of Internet businesses, including Healtheon, an online health-related document processing company, and Shutterfly, which targets the consumer film processing market. Clark is also the principal shareholder in MyCFO.com, a money-management site aimed at wealthy clients.

Ramanathan Guha, once a principal engineer at Netscape, is cofounder of Epinions.com. The company plans to create research portals by collecting links to product information resources on the Web.

News.com's Mike Ricciuti contributed to this report.