Detmer Leaves President, COO Posts at 24/7 Media

Online ad network 24/7 Media’s Tom Detmer has stepped down from his post as president and chief operations officer, to return to his role as head of the company’s e-mail unit.

24/7 Media said chief executive David Moore would take over Detmer’s responsibilities as COO and president until a permanent replacement has been named.

Detmer, who took the posts only in October, said at the time that the firm’s profitability and increased shareholder value were his primary objectives. He was also expected to help the firm shore up its organizational structure and cut costs. Shortly after his appointment, the company cut 200 jobs.

The management shakeup comes just days after cash-strapped 24/7 Media missed its fourth quarter earnings and revenue targets by a wide margin. Nevertheless, 24/7 Media painted the change as a refocusing of Detmer’s role.

“At this point in time I want to re-dedicate my energies to the 24/7 Exactis business,” Detmer said in a statement. “This is a challenging time in the e-mail service bureau space and for us to remain the leader, we must intensely focus on the new products we are launching and the functionality we are adding to our core products.”

While the statement doesn’t address 24/7 Media’s recent earnings debacle — it missed previously announced guidance by as much as $0.36 per share — the e-mail marketing sector has seen its share of heightened activity as of late, with several players stepping up their efforts. DoubleClick recently announced its intention to acquire Toronto-based e-mail firm FloNetworks, while New York-based Bigfoot Interactive and Expression Engines announced a planned merger.

As general manager of 24/7 Exactis, Detmer takes over a post almost identical to the one in which he originally joined the company; he had been serving as chief executive and president of e-mail marketer when 24/7 Media acquired the company in June. Shortly thereafter, the company promoted Detmer to president of 24/7 Media’s Technology Solutions division.

It should be noted that 24/7 Media’s financial state has seen its share of improvements since Detmer took the helm. Despite missing its recent earnings targets, the troubled ad network announced last week that it had snagged a $50 million equity line of credit from a source that it declined to name at the time.

Since then, the creditor has been revealed as Creon Management, a $360 million private fund managed by New York-based Rhino Partners.

The equity line of credit was good news for the company, since 24/7 Media entered first quarter with only a fraction of the amount that it would need to get to profitability in fourth quarter.

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