AltaVista parades new MD

'Andy's departure inevitable'

A tribute has flooded in for Andy Mitchell, the former MD of AltaVista UK and Ireland, and the man who single-handedly carried the can for the dotcom's failed brush with affordable Net access in Britain.

Pierre Paperon, President of AltaVista Europe said: "Over the past seven months Andy Mitchell built our UK business almost from scratch.

"We are very grateful for all he has done to grow an excellent UK search service and a strong organisation.

"The mistakes in our planned Internet access service - which we do acknowledge – probably made Andy’s departure inevitable, and we support his decision.

"But I would like to say that we recognise the tremendous drive and enthusiasm that Andy has brought to his work, and the important positive contributions that he has made," he said in a prepared statement.

Mitchell has been replaced - for the time being at least - by Stephanie Himoff, who is now acting Managing Director of AltaVista UK. It is not known what Mitchell plans to do next.

Himoff was not available for comment today but in a statement she said: "From today, AltaVista is focusing on our core business: Internet search.

"Search is the second most popular UK on-line activity, after email. Our focus is to provide the best service to enable British users find the information they need on the Internet," she said.

No doubt those visionaries at AltaVista currently licking their wounds are wishing they'd stayed with their "core business" and never even thought of becoming an ISP. ®

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