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Ask Jeeves president resigns amid stock lows

The online search service says president Ted Briscoe has resigned, as consumer e-commerce companies face employee defections in the face of market hostility.

Ask Jeeves, which provides online search services and answers to questions, today said its president, Ted Briscoe, has resigned.

Briscoe joined Ask Jeeves as the chief marketing officer in January 1999 and rose quickly through the ranks to become its president and chief operating officer. He will become the chief executive of privately held Play Streaming Media Group, according to Ask Jeeves.

The Emeryville, Calif.-based company's stock, like many other Internet firms, is trading near its all-time low. The stock, down 80.85 percent this year, closed yesterday at $21.63 and has traded as high as $190.50 and as low as $17.88 during the past 52 weeks.

Briscoe will remain with Ask Jeeves through the second quarter to help with the transition, the company said. The executive management team will assume Briscoe's responsibilities.

In the past month, several consumer e-commerce companies have faced employee defections or have been forced to lay off workers as market hostility toward the once popular sector persists.

Last week, the chairman of online sports retailer Fogdog resigned from the company with its stock in the doldrums. Earlier this month, e-business software maker J.D. Edwards said it is cutting 800 jobs, or 13 percent of its work force.

Also in May, toy e-tailers KBkids.com and Toysmart.com also announced job cuts and executive departures. On Friday, Toysmart shut its doors for good.