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InfoSpace shakes up management

2 min read

InfoSpace, which provides information to portals, wireless firms and commerce companies, said Monday that it has reappointed Naveen Jain as chief executive, effective immediately. The company also named a new chief operating officer and chief financial officer.

Shares (Nasdaq: INSP) fell 7 percent to $8.21.

Jain succeeds Arun Sarin, who has elected to focus on InfoSpace's wireless business and international strategy from his position as vice chairman, the Bellevue, Wash.-based company said. Sarin joined the company in May, allowing Jain to be Chairman. With the charismatic Jain at the helm, InfoSpace shares rocketed. Shares have recently plunged back to earth amid the dot-com shakeout.

Due to his travel and commuting schedule Sarin could not sustain his pace as InfoSpace CEO and meet family obligations, as his family resides in the San Francisco Bay area, the company said.

InfoSpace's board also named Ed Belsheim COO. Belsheim, previously InfoSpace's senior vice president and general counsel, succeeds Russell Horowitz, who will become executive consultant and advisor. Horowitz joined InfoSpace via the acquisition of Go2Net last year. Tammy Halstead, chief accounting officer, was appointed CFO, succeeding Rand Rosenberg. Both appointments are effective immediately, the company said.

Separately, InfoSpace said it has inked an agreement with Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) to develop interactive TV services. Under the deal, InfoSpace will develop and integrate its broadband and interactive TV (iTV) services to the Microsoft TV platform. InfoSpace will also be part of a content building initiative with Microsoft TV.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Back in September, Infospace and Nortel Networks (NYSE: NT) signed an agreement to deliver wireless Internet services to Nortel customers.