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Second VP quits CompuServe

Another high-ranking executive--the second vice president in a month--leaves CompuServe, causing rumors about a possible buyout of the company to go into overtime.

Another high-ranking executive--the second vice president in a month--has left CompuServe (CSRV), CNET's NEWS.COM has learned, causing rumors about a possible buyout of the company to go into overtime.

Bruce McNaughton, a vice president at CompuServe, told fellow employees today that he will be leaving, CompuServe spokesman Steve Conway confirmed. Conway declined to say where McNaughton was heading but added: "He went because he had a great opportunity."

Scott Kauffman, vice president of interactive services, announced earlier this month that he, too, was leaving for a better opportunity. Kauffman, who was in charge of CompuServe's failed attempt to launch a family-oriented online service called Wow, took a job as president and chief executive of ClickOver, which develops and markets software and services for electronic advertising.

It has only been six months since CompuServe's chief executive quit, amid poor earnings reports. (See related story)

But this month's departures caused workers to speculate that a buyout is looming. Employees and others are convinced that H&R Block, which owns 80 percent of CompuServe, finally has a buyer.

Among rumored buyers are Welsh Carson Anderson & Stowe, a New York-based venture capital firm. Neither Conway nor H&R Block would comment about this or any other rumors.