Ben Gerholt heads IDG's online ventures

Ben Gerholt has been given the job of leading online strategy and implementation at IDG, publisher of The Rust Report and a number of other IT publications. He takes the job after a period as editorial director of IDG's PC division and while he will continue in that role, he will have reduced hands-on involvement.

"We at IDG have been among Australia's most prolific web businesses in recent months," said Don Kennedy, managing director of IDG. "We have opened a major vertical portal for the new economy companies and one for enterprise IT professionals. We've built the country's largest IT training portal; we operate Internet sites for four of the nation's largest IT user groups; and we are only weeks away from launching Australia's only portal dedicated to the reseller channel.

"Determining the right course to take in the constantly changing online environment is critical to IDG's continued success. The appointment of Ben Gerholt to the position of online director will ensure the refinement of our strategy, the successful implementation of new projects, and the smooth operation and expansion of existing online properties."

Pacific Edge sets up shop Down Under

US software developer Pacific Edge has opened a subsidiary in Sydney with David White at the helm as regional sales manager and one other staff member. The new operation, Pacific Edge's first international subsidiary, will work with Onyx Australia to pursue joint marketing and sales opportunities.

PacificEdge develops the Project Office suite, which automates delivery of products and services between businesses. The software is already used in Australia by companies such as MLC Management, County Investment Management and Roberts Research Group.

New manager steers NetComm's product pathNetComm, the listed modem manufacturer that is planning to transform itself into a broadband carrier (see the Deal Maker section of this week's Rust Report), has appointed Tony Cavanagh group product marketing manager. His job spec calls for him to take responsibility for the company's full product marketing mix and to use it to support NetComm's metamorphosis.

"NetComm is in the process of rolling out a number of new Internet access, broadband and Internet software products and Tony will be playing a key role in the successful marketing of these," explained David Stewart, managing director of NetComm. While Cavanagh has more than 20 years experience in marketing and project management, it is understood he is new to high-tech products.

Online employment group finds CIO

Pure Internet employment service Seek Communications has appointed Patrick Eltridge CIO. A graduate from the famous computing science school at Wollongong University, Eltridge joined Seek from Boston Consulting Group where he operated within the e-commerce and IT arenas with a specific focus on B2B activities. He has also worked within the IT operations of National Australian Bank and The Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank.

Around the traps

Martin Ralston has been appointed managing partner of Andersen Consulting's government practice in Australia and NZ with the job of helping government and higher education practices in the two countries "create their e-futures in the new economy". Ralston has been with Andersen Consulting for 24 years and a partner since 1985.

Bill Joss has been appointed CEO of the UK subsidiary of Quiktrak Networks, which is hoping to list on the London Stock Exchange in September. Joss joined the company from British IT services provider Compel Group.

Peter Steed has been appointed business development manager for application services development in Australia and NZ at Equant. He joined the company from DA Consulting Group, and has also been employed at Telxon, IBM, Path Communications, Ferntree and Concurrent Computer.

Movements abroad

Biggest mover of the week was Ray Lane, who resigned as 2IC at Oracle. The 53-year-old did not give a reason for the move after spending eight years with the company, during which he was appointed president in 1996. US observers were at pains to point out that Lane was not involved in Oracle's crazy decision to hire private detectives to snoop on three public advocacy groups that have supported Microsoft during its antitrust case. It is understood that CEO Larry Ellison will take up Lane's duties in the short term.

French smart card specialist Gemplus has appointed former Hewlett-Packard executive Antonio Perez as president and CEO. Perez was with HP for 25 years, most recently as corporate executive vice president and president of consumer business and digital media solutions. He also led the company corporate marketing group and was a member of HP's executive council.

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