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Pets.com Loses Head of Marketing

The ailing Pets.com, whose stock price has slipped from a 52-week-high of $14 to $1 11/16 in Friday afternoon trading, has lost the vice president of marketing, John Hommeyer, under whose watch its acclaimed sock-puppet campaign was devised and deployed.

"He resigned to go work for an unannounced start-up with a college friend," said Karen Gold, a spokesperson for Pets.com. Gold denied that Hommeyer's departure had anything to do with the company's sagging stock price, or the general dismal state of affairs in the e-tail space.

Hommeyer couldn't be reached for comment.

Hommeyer was hired by Pets.com back in May 1999, after spending 11 years building consumer brands at Proctor & Gamble. At P&G, he was most recently marketing director of baby care worldwide strategic planning, where he implemented interactive marketing strategies.

Amy Robinson, one of Pets.com's first employees, will assume Hommeyer's responsibilities, but she will keep her current title of senior director of marketing. The company doesn't intend to search for a replacement for Hommeyer.

Pets.com's marketing and sales expenses decreased from $30.7 million in the fourth quarter of 1999 to $28.9 in the first quarter of 2000. Its most visible advertising campaign, created with Chiat/Day Advertising, features a talking sock puppet that interacts with pets and a delivery driver.