RealTime IT News

Bluelight.com CEO Resigns

Bluelight.com announced Thursday evening it was looking for new leadership after its chief executive officer tendered his resignation.

A replacement hasn't been named for Mark Goldstein, chief executive officer, who will continue to work at K Mart headquarters as an Internet advisor, a move officials say lets him focus on other endeavors. It was also reported by company sources to the Industry Standard that two other executives, Christopher Lien, chief financial officer, and Brian Sugar, chief Web officer, stepped down also.

Bluelight.com officials were not available for comment on the news.

The announcement comes one day after approximately 38 employees at Bluelight.com were laid off in a restructuring move that brings Bluelight.com back to the K Mart fold. The retail giant, which owns 60 percent of the free ISP, is looking to improve the profitability of its online venture by folding much of the merchandising and marketing efforts into its own staff.

Goldstein said his departure from Bluelight.com and K Mart is an amicable one.

"The next chapter for Bluelight.com is about further optimizing K Mart economies, not focusing on independent innovation," Goldstein said. "As an entrepreneur at heart, I am moving forward to allow someone most skilled in this area to assume the leadership position at Bluelight.com."

Bluelight.com is following in the footsteps of other online ventures created by bricks-and-mortar businesses that have subsequently been brought back under the parent company's wing. NBCi, an online arm of the traditional media outlet NBC, was recently folded back into the corporate machine after failing to make a profit. Online efforts by Staples and PetsMart were also unsuccessful.

Many "real world" businesses have tried to leverage their company name to compete on the Internet with giants Amazon.com and Yahoo! But while company officials were able to throw large amounts of money into the mix, they were unable to capitalize on the unique metrics presented by online e-tailing.

K Marts announcements the past couple days reflect a change that will likely be seen throughout the industry.

Ken Cassar, senior analyst at Jupiter Media Metrix, said that more and more companies with separate online entities are going to be rethinking their strategies in the coming years.

"We've heard rumors that a number of different companies are considering whether or not to spin their dot com units back in," Cassar said. "My instinct is that a few years from now we won't see any stand alone dot com units of brick-and-mortar merchants."