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eCompanies recruits Wall Street Journal bureau chief

The Internet venture capital firm is expected to appoint Wall Street Journal Los Angeles bureau chief Peter Gumbel as the editor in chief of its Business.com start-up.

eCompanies is expected to appoint Wall Street Journal Los Angeles bureau chief Peter Gumbel as the editor in chief of its Business.com start-up.

Dow Jones spokesman Dick Tofel confirmed that Gumbel is leaving to "go to an Internet company." Dow Jones publishes The Wall Street Journal.

The appointment comes months after eCompanies, founded by former Disney Net chief Jake Winebaum and EarthLink co-founder Sky Dayton, shelled out $7.5 million for the Business.com domain name in November.

Gumbel will oversee the entire service, according to Winebaum, who said that Gumbel "fell in love with the concept." Winebaum declined to elaborate with details of the company, saying only that it will be a business-to-business firm.

He added that Business.com will soon announce "other senior staff of the caliber equal to (Gumbel)."

The name Business.com was purchased in 1997 by an unnamed entity for $150,000 through a company called idNames.com. eCompanies bought the Business.com domain name from Marc Ostrofsky, a Houston-based entrepreneur.

Ostrofsky became an adviser to the company through the purchase. Winebaum has since served as interim chief executive of Business.com.

Since its inception this summer, eCompanies has churned out several companies through its incubator system. These include eParties.com, launched last fall; online photo processing service eMemories.com; and animation site Icebox.com.

The company also has taken stakes in start-ups such as Craftopia.com and eHobbies.com.

News.com's Jeff Pelline contributed to this report.