HeadHunter Execs To Lead CareerBuilder

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In merging the operations of HeadHunter.net into CareerBuilder.com, Knight Ridder and Tribune Co. today promoted HeadHunter executives to run the online employment company.

The top management of Reston, Va.-based CareerBuilder, including founder and CEO Rob McGovern, is leaving the company. Former HeadHunter.net CEO Robert M. Montgomery was named the new Careerbuilder CEO.

McGovern and other CareerBuilder veterans still own about 6% of the company, but a Tribune spokeswoman indicated that Knight Ridder and Tribune plan to buy out their shares. The two newspaper chains purchased the bulk of CareerBuilder in late 2000 (with each currently owning 47% of the company), but McGovern and other executives there continued to run the operation until now.

Under the direction of Knight Ridder and Tribune, CareerBuilder completed its acquisition of Atlanta-based HeadHunter.net in November 2001. That acquisition helped CareerBuilder pass the $100-million revenue mark last year.

Prior to that acquisition, HeadHunter’s revenues grew from less than $1 million to over $50 million in 2001, under Montgomery’s leadership. A Knight Ridder Digital spokeswoman said he led the company through its initial public offering in 1999 and helped it achieve profitability by the first quarter of 2001. Previously, Montgomery started InterCall Inc., which became a top privately held conference service company.

Also promoted from the old HeadHunter were Matt Ferguson, who becomes chief operating officer, and Mary Delaney, chief sales officer.

Departing CareerBuilder along with McGovern are Jim Tholen, former chief strategy officer; Jim Winchester, former vice president of engineering; Bill Donnelly, former vice president of account management group; and Craig Stamm, chief financial officer.

“Rob McGovern founded and built a great company and Bob (Montgomery) did the same at HeadHunter,” said Tribune Interactive President David Hiller. In a statement, he said the merger brought together two strong teams, but that the HeadHunter team will take combined company “to the next level.”

“The timing is right for tight operational focus to expand CareerBuilder’s share of the growing recruitment market,” the Knight Ridder spokeswoman added.

Last September, CareerBuilder began a major promotion effort in Knight Ridder and Tribune newspapers. Belo newspapers also participate in the CareerBuilder network, although Dallas-based Belo has no equity in CareerBuilder.

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