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Networker Grand Central taps new CEO

Grand Central Communications appoints founder and chairman Halsey Minor as chief executive as it embarks on a "business Internet" push.

Grand Central Communications, which helps businesses connect to other corporate networks, on Wednesday appointed its founder and chairman Halsey Minor to be its chief executive officer.

Beginning immediately, Minor will be responsible for providing day-to-day strategic direction and management for the San Francisco-based company. Grand Central said Minor believes the Internet is entering a second phase, which he has dubbed the "Business Internet," in contrast to the earlier consumer Internet.

"In hindsight, however, that phase of the Internet will appear merely as a warm-up for the opportunities created by the Business Internet through the standards of SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol), XML (extensible markup language) and Web services," Minor said in a statement. "As an operator at heart, I'm compelled to take a hands-on leadership role with a company destined to be a driving force in this next phase."

Minor replaces Craig Donato, who will continue to serve as a consultant to the company for a brief period, according to Grand Central spokeswoman Suzanne McCormac.

Donato "did a phenomenal job getting the company to where it is," said McCormac. "There was no power struggle. He decided to pursue other interests."

Minor founded CNET Networks and was its chairman and CEO. CNET Networks is the publisher of News.com.