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Msg  3377 of 44363  at  1/11/2007 4:26:07 PM  by


Details on Heidi's Fortune

Thursday, February 9, 2006  
Founders Stephen Messer and Heidi Messer leave LinkShare

Founders Stephen Messer and Heidi Messer, respectively chief executive officer and chief operating officer of LinkShare Corp., have resigned from the company, four months after its sale to Japanese Internet portal Rakuten Inc. in a cash deal valued at $425 million. Assuming responsibility for day to day operation of the company is Steven Denton, most recently LinkShare’s senior vice president of client development and distribution services, who has been named president.

Denton, who joined LinkShare in 2000, has been responsible for significantly growing the company’s client base, having added 642 new clients in five years. Prior to joining LinkShare, Denton was managing director of sales for the New York/New Jersey region of FedEx Corporate services. His career in sales management also has included leadership positions at The Times-Mirror Company and PepsiCo.

“LinkShare is an important new component of Rakuten’s portfolio of businesses,” says Rakuten CEO Hiroshi Mikitani. “We look to Steve’s experience and deep understanding of LinkShare’s customers to help attain the scale of business that we believe LinkShare is capable of as a fully integrated and fully supported member of Rakuten’s global organization.”

Stephen Messer and Heidi Messer, his sister, have not disclosed future career or business plans. “Heidi and I are proud of the successful company that we, along with a great team of employees, have been able to build in a few short years,” he says. “As we go forward to take on new challenges, we are pleased that Steve Denton will be taking on a strong company, with talented people in place and a new range of global resources to fuel its future.”

Rakuten, with a market capitalization of just under $10 billion, is regarded as the seventh largest Internet company in the world.

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