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MyLackey CEO has one less chore

By Published on .

MyLackey.com CEO Brian McGarvey stepped aside to let a "more seasoned executive" take control of the errand-running company, the company said. Mr. McGarvey, who stressed his departure was planned, will remain on the company's board.

Regarding his departure before a new CEO is hired, Mr. McGarvey said: "When the founder and CEO is still there, they're going to find a lot of people will come talk to him as opposed to the new guy. I wanted to make sure this person could come in and be successful."

Mr. McGarvey said, "It's not surprising for anybody [on the board]. Outside of the board, it's surprising. It's a hard decision for me. It's my baby and my idea, but I want more than anybody else for this to be successful."

Phil Sanderson, general partner with WaldenVC, said an executive search handled by Heidrick & Struggles had been under way for a month. WaldenVC is an investor in MyLackey.com.

"We've always planned to hire a CEO that really has experience in the operations world and senior management world and has done the CEO role before," Mr. Sanderson said.

While Internet company founders often relinquish the CEO title to a more experienced executive, it's unusual that the founder would leave before the new CEO is hired. "We talked about it with Brian and we all agreed we should create this spot before the [new] CEO came in," Mr. Sanderson said, though he insisted there was no specific event that triggered Mr. McGarvey's departure Aug. 23.

The new CEO won't necessarily come from an Internet company, Mr. Sanderson said. "While MyLackey.com is an Internet company, it's equally an operations company. Their service depends on superior performance of their vendors and seamless customer service, which is very much more operations oriented."

Senior management will assume Mr. McGarvey's duties until a replacement is hired. Mylackey.com, a Seattle-based start-up, provides services such as running errands, cleaning homes, detailing cars and washing laundry. Like Web delivery service Kozmo.com, which has recently laid off staff, MyLackey has had a difficult time making money. MyLackey was the subject of an Aug. 21 Advertising Age case study.

A planned Sept. 1 launch in Washington, D.C., is still on target, Mr. Sanderson said.

Copyright August 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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