BUSINESSWEEK ONLINE : APRIL 26, 1999 ISSUE
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

The PointCast Saga


1992
Chris and Greg Hassett form PED Software to make software allowing users to personalize content and data offered online.

FEBRUARY, 1996
Service is launched as PointCast. Users download software and use it to customize information from the Net.

FEBRUARY, 1997
PointCast reaches a tentative agreement to be acquired by News Corp. for $450 million. But the deal dies by March.

JUNE, 1997
Chris Hassett is pushed out, and a search for a new CEO is launched. PointCast's technology is losing momentum because of poor performance.

OCTOBER, 1997
David Dorman, the CEO of Pacific Bell, becomes PointCast's chairman and CEO. He immediately begins work on the technical and image problems.

AUGUST, 1998
Dorman begins negotiating to sell PointCast to a group of Baby Bells and Microsoft. The consortium's goal: a high-speed, broadband service to compete with At Home.

DECEMBER, 1998
A letter of intent is signed by all parties. The consortium would put up some $400 million for the new venture and buy PointCast for about $100 million.

MARCH, 1999
Frustrated by endless delays, Dorman resigns to head AT&T/British Telecom venture. Two weeks later, the consortium notifies PointCast that their venture is dead.

APRIL, 1999
PointCast lays off nearly a third of its 220 employees, and Chris Hassett, among others, launches a bid to take control of the company.



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PointCast: The Rise and Fall of an Internet Star



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