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Martha Lane Fox leaves Lastminute

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Dotcom darling Martha Lane Fox is stepping down from lastminute.com, the company she co-founded.

While the best-known name of the UK's dotcom era steps back from the day-to-day running of the business, she will still have close ties with the travel and gift outfit as a non-exec director and major shareholder.

Ms Lane Fox will be replaced by COO Ian McCaig.

News of her decision to quit the company came as the company announced it had made its first full-year profit.

Said Ms Lane Fox: "It has always been my ambition to see the group deliver a full year of profitability. Now this has been achieved, it is the right time for the business and the right time for me to explore other challenges."

Lastminute.com today reported a pre-tax profit of £200,000, compared to a loss of £16.2 million during the last financial year.

The total transaction value of what lastminute.com flogged this year jumped 125 per cent to £552 million from £246 million in 2002.

Total turnover for the year - including its share of joint ventures - rocketed 444 per cent to £190.7 million, compared to £35 million last year.

Chairman Allan Leighton said the results showed the progress made by lastminute.com in the last year, cementing the company's position as the "clear European leader in the online travel and leisure market". ®

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