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Excite@Home Taps Former AT&T Exec to Lead @Work Unit

Excite@Home Monday named Mark O'Leary senior vice president and general manager of @Work, the company's business-to-business Internet access division.

A 15-year industry veteran, O'Leary assumes his responsibilities immediately, succeeding Don Hutchison, who had been senior vice president and general manager since 1997. Hutchison was named chairman and chief executive officer of Work.com.

George Bell, Excite@Home (ATHM) president and chief executive officer, said the personnel move is just part of its strategy to further expand its piece of the broadband business marketplace.

"Excite@Home started the @Work division because we recognized the tremendous opportunity the commercial market offered and, with our industry-leading backbone, were well-positioned to offer superior service to business customers," Bell said.

"Today, the future of the Internet for both businesses and consumers is broadband. @Work remains a key component of our broadband leadership and we believe that with Mark O'Leary's experience and proven success at AT&T Corp., the division is well positioned for new levels of growth," Bell added.

The move sparks further speculation about Excite@Home's potential move to offer Digital Subscriber Line services through its consumer access division.

@Work teamed up with NorthPoint Communications, Inc. (NPNT) in June 1998 to deliver DSL transport options to small and medium-sized businesses.

Although industry experts have speculated about Excite@Home's potential to do the same, the broadband access provider is under exclusive contract with AT&T (T) to deliver non-cable high-speed services through June 2002, should Excite@Home decide to venture into the consumer DSL market segment.

In his new role at Excite@Home, O'Leary is chartered with building @Work into the leading commercial broadband provider across high-speed cable, wired or wireless broadband platforms.

@Work intends to leverage O'Leary's experience in the Internet industry to expand business relationships as well as its business subscriber base.

While at AT&T, directed product development and product management for the AT&T Solutions organization. Under O'Leary's leadership, the managed services area was one of the fastest growing commercial sectors within AT&T.