Netscape Communications co-founder Jim Clark will step in as
chairman of networking security start-up Neoteris effective Monday,
according to the company.
The appointment caps weeks of rumors and adds to Clark's
eclectic resume, which includes stints at Silicon Graphics, Netscape and
WebMD. After leaving all three of those companies, he has more recently
focused on a collection of relatively obscure start-ups, serving as
chairman at online photo service Shutterfly, financial consultant for MyCFO and
genetics researcher at DNA Sciences.
Neoteris aims to simplify the way employees connect to a corporate
network remotely, replacing the two major solutions used today: extranets
and virtual private networks (VPNs). The Sunnyvale-based company was
founded last year under the temporary name DanaStreet, and
has received $5 million in funding from investors that include Clark and
the Barksdale Group, the investment fund run by his former partner at
Netscape, Jim Barksdale.
Neoteris on Nov. 19 plans to launch its networking appliance, dubbed the
Instant Virtual Extranet. According to the company, the product offers
companies the ability to link securely to their internal corporate network
from any device that has a Web browser, without the need for a
The company said its product fills a networking need unmet by extranets
and VPNs, which can be costly and complicated to implement.
Neoteris Chief Executive Krishna Kolluri, a co-founder and former
senior vice president of WebMD, acknowledged that the timing for new
start-ups is difficult given the economic environment. But he added that
the company hopes to turn that to its advantage by instilling
"Is the current climate challenging? No question about it," said
Kolluri. "I don't think there's any better time than to build a company
during the downturn...just because you can get more done with less."
Kolluri added that Neoteris' technology is "revolutionary" and will
"fundamentally change the way people work."
Clark has long been identified with successful start-ups, although some of
his projects have produced mixed results.
WebMD, the online health provider he co-founded and later left, has faced
challenges this year, posting a net loss of $1.9 billion, or $5.21 per
share, for the first half of the year. Meanwhile, the company's stock has
sunk from a high of more than $100 a share in March 1999 to
$4.52 at market close Friday.
In a regulatory filing last month, the
company said it would hand
sizable severance packages to a pair of former executives who resigned from
the struggling online health company earlier this year.
Kolluri "and I have a history of building innovative solutions for huge,
unaddressed market needs," Clark said in a statement. "I believe that we
have the opportunity to again build a trailblazing industry."