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Cap Gemini Chief Quits, Joins Incubator

Alwyn Welch, the chief executive officer of U.K., Ireland and Asia Pacific operations at European IT consultancy Cap Gemini, has quit his post to join Internet incubator Brainspark as chief operating officer.

Brainspark also announced Friday its intention to float on AIM, the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange.

Brainspark, founded in September 1999, develops U.K. and European Internet related businesses, and helps entrepreneurs turn their ideas into successful businesses.

Welch, 42, a chartered electronics engineer, will take up his new post at the end of February 2000.

Brainspark Chief Executive Stewart Dodd was clearly very pleased to have landed such a prominent IT figure for the incubator.

"I am delighted that Alwyn is joining Brainspark. He meets our need for someone capable of working at the leading edge of e-business and helping to create and grow the industry leaders of the future," said Dodd.

The move is the end of Alwyn Welch's 12-year career at Cap Gemini. He joined Hoskyns, which later became later Cap Gemini U.K., in 1988, managing the outsourcing and software package businesses.

Welch said he was looking forward to moving from IT consultancy to helping companies with their overall business strategies.

Brainspark's initial work is with a small number of partner companies. They include European pets portal Petspark.com, global B2B leisure portal Leisurehub.com, and web design and developer Fortune Cookie.

Two other companies in which Brainspark is investing are EasyArt.com, which it describes as "the only B2B and B2C poster print and integrated framing business in Europe," and smile-on, a community site for dental professionals.

Brainspark refers to its odd assortment of partners as its "cubs," as says it expects to expand the number to 10 or 12 "in due course."

Brainspark expects to publish a prospectus in March. Dealing in its shares will begin shortly afterwards.