dcsimg
RealTime IT News

Pulver Formally Becomes NetRatings CEO

NetRatings Inc. , which agreed to cancel its bid to buy Jupiter Media Metrix last week after the Federal Trade Commission expressed antitrust concerns, has settled on a new chief executive officer.

The culmination of a skipper change that was announced in conjunction with NetRatings' move to acquire the rival research firm, NetRatings President and COO William Pulver will succeed Dave Toth, who is stepping down to pursue other interests.

"Dave successfully led NetRatings from its inception to its current leadership position," said Pulver, new CEO of NetRatings, in a public statement. "The technology, products, business practices and management team created under his guidance form a solid foundation for the future. NetRatings will continue to aggressively pursue its corporate vision of becoming the global standard for Internet media and market research."

Formerly president of NetRatings joint venture partner ACNielsen eRatings.com, Pulver became president and COO of the Milpitas, Calif. research and analysis firm in Oct. 2001, and it was established then that he would eventually take over the helm from Toth.

But things turned sour for NetRatings and Jupiter. Few in either camp expected what transpired since the merger was proposed last Oct. 25. In fact, on New York-based Jupiter Media Metrix resumed a patent infringement lawsuit against its would-be acquirer, just as the FTC sought additional information from both companies pursuant to the merger.

The lawsuit, filed in March of 2001, stemmed from Jupiter's charges that NetRatings violated its patent for tracking online Web usage. But when NetRatings agreed to purchase Jupiter for $71.2 million in cash and stock, the lawsuit was left in question though both sides said it was standard practice in business.

After poking and prodding away for a couple of months, the FTC raised objections about a loan and security agreement the two struck when they agreed to merge, and questioned other actions. Finally, NetRatings and Jupiter mutually called the merger off Feb. 19.

The decision to terminate the acquisition did not require either company to pay a breakup fee.