So, re-read this interview from last week. Congrats Jim! If only I knew then what we know now…working on getting a few updates from His CEO-ness…
Update: Jim was kind enough to answer three questions before he left for SES Italy, where he is slated to give a talk. I asked him, in order – How does it feel?; What about competing with your old boss Steve; and will there be changes at Ask? His answers:
1. How feel?
Steve has been an incredible mentor for me and we had a lot of successes together, so I’m sad to see him go. The good news is that we have a great team in place, including the other CEOs, Scott Garell, who runs the IAC Consumer Applications group (includes iWon, Excite, Smiley Central, MyWay and now Evite) and Paul Gardi, the former Teoma president who is now CEO of IAC Partner Marketing. Together with the other senior leaders here and Barry, Doug and the IAC management team, I think we’ll be in good shape going forward with the IAC Search & Media business. At Ask, I’ve also been lucky enough to build out and amazing team, which truly operates as a team, and we’ll keep building out with more IAC investment.
I don’t know all the details, but my understanding is that Steve’s new role is broader than just search, encompassing all of MSN and Live, as well as the AdCenter group. He’ll have plenty to worry about other than little ole us. On the other hand, he is one of the big boys now. To me, both Google and MSN are like Internet Explorers in search and we’re the Firefox trying to grow in some other way. That doesn’t stop now that Steve is there.
No, steady on. We feel strongly about our strategy and the way we do business, and we’ll keep pushing forward. The biggest change will be opening our minds to the possibilities of what we can do and who we can be, as IAC invests in our product development and marketing, as well as growing our employee base to accelerate our curve. Its a very different Ask than it was a year ago, and we’ll look different still a year from now. It’s going to be a long fight in our battle against the big boys, but pound for pound, there won’t be a more exciting place to be than Ask.