VerticalNet Falls as Galli Departs

VerticalNet, Inc. (Nasdaq: VERT) fell 1.34 to 3.97 early Monday after thee-commerce software maker said chief executive officer Joseph Galli resignedto become president and CEO of manufacturing company Newell Rubbermaid.

Galli, who joined VerticalNet last July, is being replaced by Michael Hagan,chief operating officer and a co-founder of the company.

Analysts at Lehman Brothers, Prudential Volpe and Legg Mason reportedlylowered their ratings on VerticalNet following the news.

The move will be a “return to my roots in the durable goodsindustry,” Galli said, adding that”VerticalNet remains the same incredible growth opportunity it was when Ijoined earlier this year, if not more so.”

Hagan has had direct operational responsibility over the company’sVerticalNet Solutions and NECX units. He has also directed VerticalNet’sacquisition strategy and managed the sale of NECX to high-tech consortiumConverge, Inc.

According to VerticalNet chairman Mark Walsh, Galli did a “great job” identifying key opportunities and “making the big-picture organizational changes necessary to address them.”

Walsh also said Hagan’s “solid industry relationships” will help the companygrow.

“I have enjoyed watching the company I co-founded grow to become anindustry leader,” Hagan said. “This year brings several unprecedentedopportunities for VerticalNet.”

Outlining his goals for the company, Hagan said VerticalNet will continue toexpand products and services offered by its online marketplaces, extend the”impressive growth trajectory” of VerticalNet Solutions through the delivery of “leading-edge applications,” and work with Converge to develop their alliance.

As part of the NECX sale, VerticalNet received a seat on the Converge board.

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