CoolSavings CEO Cedes President Role

Steven Golden will turn over some of his duties as head of online couponer CoolSavings, announcing that the company’s chief marketing guru will take over as president and chief operating officer.

Matthew Moog, previously executive vice president for sales, marketing and product management, will handle day-to-day operations at the Chicago-based marketer. Moog will also continue to oversee sales and marketing.

Golden, who previously held the title of president in addition to chairman and chief executive, said the changes will put Moog in a role where he will help “establish and [execute] the successful CoolSavings’ business model that exists today.”

Prior to joining CoolSavings in 1996, Moog worked for Microsoft and was involved in several product launches including MSN, Internet Explorer, Windows NT and other programs.

Golden waved away suggestions that the promotion is aimed at steadying the firm in the wake of disappointing earnings last quarter. In October, the online couponer posted a $0.21 per share quarterly loss, missing Wall Street earnings estimates by a penny, and CSAV now trades below the $1 mark — putting it at risk for a NASDAQ delisting.

“As CoolSavings continues to grow and become a leading e-marketing services company, this promotion is a natural transition and will improve and strengthen our overall corporate structure,” Golden said.

The transition comes at a critical time for the company, as online marketing firms — especially public ones like CoolSavings — are being buffeted by a fairly hostile market and a downturn in online marketing budgets.

But since last quarter’s earnings disappointment, the company has taken steps to insulate itself from the vagaries of the online marketing space by moving offline.

It recently announced a pact with Acosta Sales and Marketing, that will enable CoolSavings to introduce integrated online and offline promotions in Acosta’s more than 156,000 grocery retailers nationwide. Jacksonville, Fla.-based Acosta provides outsourced sales and marketing services to manufacturers of food and other consumer packaged goods.

“2001 will be an exciting year as we solidify our position by helping leading national advertisers exploit the unique power of the Internet to acquire and retain profitable customers,” Moog said.

Shares of CSAV were trading up 24.44 percent on the news, at $0.88 — well off the stock’s 52-week high of $7.13.

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