Working in the Internet industry today is no cakewalk, but that's not deterring Charles V. Callahan, who has been named president and CEO of PeopleSupport Inc., a 3-year-old Web-based customer service firm.
He replaces company founder Lance Rosenzweig, who remains company chairman.
"With most startups, there's almost always a transition from founder to outside CEO after some period of time," said Callahan. "You need to bring in someone who has experience building and scaling a sustainable revenue stream."
Callahan, who was most recently a general partner at Triangle Ventures, a private equity and turnaround firm that serves companies in the high-technology industry and business-to-business marketplace, said he had been looking for the right CEO opportunity on and off for years.
Though L.A.-based PeopleSupport does not classify itself as a dot-com company, there still remains a question mark attached to the future prospects of most startups in the Internet sector. Nevertheless, Callahan said the company's $75 million in funding is enough to get through one year of business. PeopleSupport provides customer service via e-mail, live online chat sessions and through phone conversations with its client companies' customers.
Callahan has a plan that consists of building infrastructure, building the management team and solidifying the company's position as a brand.
"A lot of young companies evolve or flail around trying to find their niche," said Callahan. "At one time we were a hosting company, at another we were a would-be application service provider. We want to lock in a positioning."
As far as his first month on the job is concerned, it sounds like Callahan has been monitoring the business essentials that appear to have eluded most startup CEOs for the past few years.
"I spent most of the first 30 days concentrating on the financials," he said, "making sure our cash and cost position are what we want them to be for 2001."
Conor DoughertyAccounting & Consulting
William H. Ferguson has been elected managing partner of SCA Consulting in Los Angeles. He will be charged with the day-to-day operations of the business, developing the firm's strategy and overseeing its implementation. Ferguson has been with the company since 1998.Banking & Finance
Lars Ekstrom, Lisa G. Goldman and Edward W. Villeneuve have joined Goldsmith Agio Helms, a middle-market investment banking firm in Los Angeles. The three senior dealmakers are responsible for leading merger-and-acquisition transactions, local marketing and business development for the company. The trio was most recently employed at Greif & Co.Entertainment
Steven M. Bornstein has been named president, ABC Television. Bornstein is based in Burbank and will oversee the ABC Television Network, ABC's 10 owned television stations and Buena Vista Television, a provider of syndicated television programming.
Erin Davis has been appointed director of business development at Belief, a broadcast design and production studio in Santa Monica. In her new post, Davis will pursue new business, focusing on the domestic and Latin American markets. She was most recently executive producer for 3 Ring Circus in Los Angeles.
Ted Field has signed a four-year contract to become chairman and CEO of ArtistDirect, a music and media company in Los Angeles. As part of his appointment, Field will create a new record company, Radar Records, which will be jointly owned by him and ArtistDirect. Field is the founder of Interscope Records.
Donna Harrison has been named senior vice president, unscripted and reality programming, at Tribune Entertainment in Los Angeles. She will be responsible for overseeing all program development and production of Tribune Entertainment's unscripted and reality programming, including its new syndicated hour-long strip "Talk or Walk." Most recently, Harrison was senior vice president, programming and production, for Fox's cable channel, The Health Network in Los Angeles.
Danica Zimmerman has joined Creative Capers, an animation and design studio in Los Angeles, as vice president of development. She will oversee development of live-action and animated projects for both television and film. Prior to joining the company, Zimmerman was vice president of development for Film Roman, the company responsible for animating "The Simpsons" and "King Of The Hill."Health Care
Shawn Mobley has joined Uniprise, a UnitedHealth Group Co. in Long Beach, as vice president, sales. He is responsible for representing Uniprise in Southern California and Arizona, serving employer groups with 2,000 members or greater in California and 5,000 employees or greater in Arizona. Mobley most recently served as senior business manager, national accounts at PacifiCare Health Plans.Hospitality
Wolf Walther has been named general manager of the Sheraton Universal Hotel in Universal City. He was formerly general manager of the St. Regis, Los Angeles.Insurance
Sam Elliott has been hired at ABD Insurance and Financial Services, a provider of global risk management and employee benefits solutions, as managing director of the company's Southern California property and casualty operation. He will oversee the property and casualty operation out of ABD's Torrance office, where he will supervise sales and recruiting efforts, management and staff and development of cross-sales programs with ABD's employee benefits division. Elliott was previously president of Jardine Insurance Brokers of Los Angeles Inc.Law
Peter M. Eichler and JoAnne Redmann have joined the Century City office of Crosby Heafey as partners. Eichler is an international business lawyer who focuses his practice on transactional trademarks, copyrights and licensing/merchandising. He will be leading the trademark section within the firm's intellectual property practice group. He was most recently a partner at Troop Steuber Pasich Reddick & Tobbet LLP. Redmann, who joins as partner from Riordan & McKinzie, counsels her clients on intellectual property matters including complex litigation, patent prosecution and transactional matters, such as acquisitions, licenses and joint development agreements.
Lisa Hill Fenning has joined the Los Angeles office of Dewey Ballantine LLP as a partner. She will be practicing in the firm's bankruptcy practice. Fenning is a former United States bankruptcy judge for the Central District of California and is on the board of directors of the Los Angeles County Bankruptcy Forum.
Rachael Lerman Helyar has joined Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld LLP in Los Angeles as a senior associate in the firm's litigation practice. She will be part of the appellate practice group. Helyar was most recently with Horvitz & Levy LLP in Encino.Media
Carolyn Bivens and James Bell have both been promoted at Initiative Media Worldwide, a media services company in Los Angeles. Bivens is now president and chief operating officer, Initiative Media North America, and will oversee the operations of the division's 20 U.S. offices. She will manage all Initiative Media's direct client business, working with companies in a diverse array of industries. In addition, she will be responsible for corporate communications, directory services, local and national broadcast, motivational incentives group, promotion house and information technology. Bivens was most recently managing director of the western region. Bell is now president and chief operating officer, IM121, a new business unit specializing in relationship marketing. He will be responsible for maintaining all Initiative Media North America's relationship marketing ventures, as well as managing all new acquisitions. Bell was most recently managing director, eastern region.
Karen Tobin has been appointed director of group promotions at Infinity Radio's promotion group in Los Angeles. Tobin's duties will include developing an internal and external communication plan for the group, developing its brand, managing potential strategic alliances and creating, implementing and managing promotion, sales and new business strategy plans. Most recently, she coordinated the launch of Fandango, an online movie ticketing service.New Media
David Cullipher has been named president of Digital Deviants, a Web design and multimedia communications firm in Venice. He will be responsible for forging new strategic partnerships and affiliations, growing the business, overseeing client projects and developing and coordinating client relationships. Prior to joining the company, Cullipher was a senior trainer at Productivity Point International, where he helped IT professionals optimize their use of technology.
Timothy A. Yokote has been appointed vice president, technology for Picture PipeLine LLC, a broadband video solutions provider in Los Angeles. In his role, Yokote will be the lead architect of the company's distribution network and application development. He was most recently a development manager at TRW, which spun-off Picture PipeLine earlier this year.Non-Profits
Larry Trujillo has joined the Arboretum of Los Angeles County as director of development for the 127-acre botanic garden and historic site located in Arcadia. He will be responsible for developing and implementing fund-raising and revenue enhancement programs, membership activities, community outreach programs to organizations and donors, as well as working with Los Voluntarios, The Arboretum's volunteer organization.Real Estate
Bruce E. Asper has been named to head the newly formed landlord team at CB Richard Ellis Inc. Asper plans to focus on the downtown Los Angeles office building market. He comes to the position from Jones Lang LaSalle, where he was vice president and regional leasing director.
Gino Polizzotto has been promoted to director of construction management at Thomas Properties Group in Los Angeles. He will be responsible for the build-out of the company's current development projects. Polizzotto has 12 years' experience in construction management and architectural design, and most recently managed construction of the California Environmental Protection Agency's 950,000-square-foot headquarters in Sacramento. Prior to his promotion, Polizzotto was a project manager.
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