Commerce One appoints new president

Troubled business-to-business online exchange and procurement vendor Commerce One Inc. announced on Thursday the appointment of Dennis H. Jones as its new president.

Jones will replace Robert Kimmit, who is leaving the company to join AOL Time Warner Inc..

Jones, a former Federal Express Corp. executive who led FedEx from a company with US$30 million in revenues to one with $20 billion, brings with him a different skill set than former president Kimmit, according to a Commerce One spokesman.

Kimmitt has been recognized as having contacts with senior executives on a global level and is credited with initiating many of Commerce One's alliances and for the company's move beyond its own U.S. borders. Jones, however, is known for his ability to leverage technology as a strategic business advantage, according to Andrew McCarthy, a spokesman for Commerce One, in Pleasanton, California.

At FedEx, Jones deployed new technology platforms as the company went through a rapid growth spurt with a special focus on using technology as a competitive differentiator with its customers, noted McCarthy.

"That perspective is something that is clearly unique with Dennis [Jones] and complementary to Mark's [Mark Hoffman, CEO] technical expertise," McCarthy added. The company is still on target to be profitable by the end of this year, McCarthy said.

As its stock price has declined, Commerce One announced last month that it would cut 10 percent of its workforce, citing a weak economy. One analyst said Commerce One's services continue to have value and said initial expectations about the value of exchanges and private procurement marketplaces may have been too high.

"The marketplace and exchange vision involves the re-engineering of fundamental business processes that connect partners in a trading community," said David Alschuler, analyst for e-business and enterprise applications at the Boston-based Aberdeen Group. "It was naïve to think that re-engineering would be accomplished in one year."

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