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Portal could shut, says Business Week

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ISP ExciteAtHome may shut down its Internet portal Excite.com if no buyers step in soon Businessweek claims.

Patti Hart, ExciteAtHome's new CEO, is looking to sell loss-making Excite but "may shut it down in the next several months in no buyers emerge," the magazine reports.

Hart, the former CEO of Telocity, was appointed CEO of the California-based ISP less than a month ago.

Earlier this week ExciteAtHome announced 380 redundancies, mostly from its media sections. The move followed the loss of 250 jobs at the company in January.

The company also reported that net losses for the first quarter increased to $832.6 million.

According to Businessweek, 44-year-old Hart made a deal with Excite@Home over the portal's future before she agreed to take on the job of CEO. While negotiating with the company she insisted on the freedom to flog its assets, including Excite, one source told the magazine.

She also helped convince the board to get rid of former chairman and CEO George Bell. "I think Patti didn't want any confusion about who was in charge of the company," commented analyst Abhishek Gami of William Blair & Co.

Last month the company said it was considering quitting Europe. At the time Evan Rudowski of Excite Europe said the company would "rather sell the company for $1 than withdraw from Europe after all the time and money we have invested." ®

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