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PointCast reshuffles, hints at deal

The push firm realigns its management team and hints the changes may be part of a soon-to-be announced strategic alliance.

PointCast realigned its management team and hinted that the changes may be part of preparations for a soon-to-be announced strategic alliance.

Jaleh Bisharat, the former senior vice president of marketing, and Douglas Boake, formerly senior vice president of sales, have left the company, executives confirmed.

Meanwhile, Donald Albert, 41, who since early 1997 has managed PointCast's relationships with media content providers, will add the role of senior vice president for advertising sales and e-commerce. Robert Sofman, the 43-year-old senior vice president overseeing business development and international operations, will add marketing responsibilities to his job description.

"We are now positioned to execute on a major opportunity before us," PointCast chief executive David Dorman said in a statement, hinting at a possible looming announcement. He did not elaborate.

"Typically we don't read a lot into the play-by-play of executive management," said Ron Rappaport, an Internet industry analyst at Zona Research. "[But] this to me appears to be a company that's at a point where they're probably about to announce a buddy."

An IPO planned earlier this year by Pointcast was put on hold because it would be difficult to go public and explore partnership possibilities at the same time, Rappaport said.

"PointCast appears to be repositioning for a long-awaited partnership," he said.

PointCast was one of the hottest Internet companies around in the mid-1990s as "push" technology gained attention for its ability to deliver information directly to the user's desktop. Some analysts argued that push was ahead of its time because many IT managers shied away such products for fear that its constant downloads would tie up corporate network bandwidth.