Former Infoseek CEO forms Web site building firm

Steve Kirsch announces the formation of a company that aims to create a new way to build e-commerce Web sites.

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Steve Kirsch, founder and former CEO of Infoseek, today announced the formation of a company that aims to create a new way to build e-commerce Web sites.

The new company, to be known as Propel, will offer a suite of software and services for constructing e-commerce Web sites. Propel said its technology will allow for faster coding.

"Until now, virtually all sites have been built from scratch, which is expensive, time consuming and lacks reliability and scalability," said Kirsch, who will serve as CEO of Propel. "Our vision is to do for e-commerce what Microsoft did for the desktop--to create a standard platform for developing and deploying e-commerce applications."

Propel said online retailers will be able to use its technology regardless of what stage they are at in their e-commerce business.

"Medium to high-end e-tailers can build a totally new site, replace pieces of their existing site, or simply add new features to their existing site," Kirsch said.

Kirsch stepped down as CEO of Infoseek last November when the company was purchased to become part of Disney's Go.com. Investors in the new company include former Netscape executive Marc Andreessen, Dell chief executive Michael Dell, Intel chairman Andy Grove and eBay chief Meg Whitman, Propel said.