Beeb.com, the BBC’s commercial internet service, has been rocked by
the departure of two founding directors just days before announcing a
major joint venture, which is expected to value the company at pounds
Andy Conroy, beeb.com’s production director, and Mike Clowes, creative
director, are leaving to join NC Co, a digital consultancy that advises
FTSE 100 companies.
Conroy and Clowes were founding directors of beeb.com in 1996, along
with Rupert Miles, who joined Carlton Interactive Media last year as
Their departure leaves beeb.com with a depleted management structure as
it gears up to announce a deal with either Flextech or NTL, which are
bidding to take a 30% stake in beeb.com for around pounds 100m.
Clowes said his departure was unrelated to the impending joint
He said: ’This was an agonising decision because this is a very exciting
time for beeb.com.’
Overall responsibility for beeb.com lies with Drew Kaza, managing
director of internet and interactive at BBC Worldwide, but Conroy is
responsible for day-to-day operations and Clowes for content. He and
Conroy were behind beeb.com’s evolution into an e-commerce site.
Beeb.com was set up just over two years ago as a joint venture between
BBC Worldwide and Japanese-owned computer company, ICL.
Last year, it branched into internet access with the launch of
FreeBeeb.net through a tie-up with Scottish Telecom. The partial
sell-off of beeb.com is expected to value the venture at pounds
David Atter, beeb.com’s sales and marketing director, is now the most
senior director at beeb.com.
In 1999, revenue increased three-fold on 1998, while Q1 2000 is up 20%
year on year. However, beeb.com refuses to divulge actual figures.