RealTime IT News

Prodigy Heading South

Prodigy Communications Corp. is looking for a new lease on its Internet service life cycle in Texas.

In addition to relocating its corporate White Plains, N.Y. headquarters to Austin, Texas, Prodigy Friday introduced its new management team and added new board members.

Prodigy's deepening relationship with SBC Communications Corp. is the primary motivation for the personnel and facilities move to the South.

Prodigy and SBC have teamed up to deploy digital subscriber line services to businesses nationwide. The relocation will enhance Prodigy's ability to quickly deploy its co-branded DSL services.

Prodigy board of directors named Charles J. Roesslein, formerly senior vice president of SBC, as president and chief executive officer, and Gregory G. Williams, formerly vice president-Wireless Systems at SBC Technology Resources Inc., as executive vice president and chief operating office.

Prodigy's Samer Salameh will remain chairman of the board. David Trachtenberg, former Prodigy president and chief operating officer, will consult with Roesslein through the transition to Austin.

The board also approved the appointment of Dan Iannotti, former counsel of SBC Directory Operations, as vice president, general counsel and secretary. Andrea Hirsch, former Prodigy general counsel and EVP of Business Development, will remain as a consultant handling business development issues for the company. Allen Craft will remain as chief financial officer and executive vice president of finance.

As part of the strategic alliance between Prodigy and SBC, Prodigy's board of directors now includes three representatives from Carso Global Telecom and Telmex.

The board recommended and approved the relocation of Prodigy's corporate based. Austin is also home to SBC research labs, and as part of the agreement, the two companies will jointly coordinate research, product development, and marketing efforts.

Roesslein said more than 200 employees are expected to relocate to Austin by early 2001, with upwards of 350 employees by the end of next year.

"The relocation to Austin and the subsequent change in the management team are designed to leverage the assets of SBC Communications to further enhance Prodigy's competitive position in its drive to be the world's leading broadband DSL ISP," Roesslein said.

"Prodigy has achieved tremendous success since it went online from being the first consumer online service and the first bilingual Spanish/English ISP in the nation to its most recent partnership with SBC, making it the third largest fee-based ISP in the U.S.," Roesslein added.

In May, SBC and Prodigy completed the transaction to combine their consumer and small business Internet operations.

Prodigy's Salameh said he welcomed the new management teams efforts to leverage Prodigy's strong start in the broadband race.

"Together, we are positioning Prodigy to become a world-class competitor for broadband-enabled technologies and services," Salameh said.