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MonsterCommerce to be Acquired by Network Solutions
engine

WebmasterWorld Administrator engine us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 10504 posted 10:57 am on Dec 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Brett Tabke interviews Stephanie Leffler, MonsterCommerce CEO

Brett So Steph, what's the big news?
Steph This is an exciting day... My partner Ryan Noble and I signed a definitive agreement for MonsterCommerce to be acquired by Network Solutions. We are tremendously pleased to see our teams come together.

Brett Congratulations. What did MonsterCommerce sell for? ;-)
Steph (Laughing) Network Solutions is a private company so I am not at liberty to discuss sale price. We feel we received fair consideration for the business.

Brett Are you going to stay on with MonsterCommerce in the same or new capacity?
Steph I will continue to lead MonsterCommerce on a day-to-day basis as President and General Manager. My business partner Ryan Noble will be the Senior Vice President of MonsterCommerce.

Brett Which means you are no longer CEO?
Steph Champ Mitchell is the CEO of Network Solutions and will also lead MonsterCommerce 's strategy. Champ has done a phenomenal job leading Network Solutions over the past 3 or so years. He has taken the company
private, and vastly overhauled the business.

Brett Ok -- shifting gears -- I remember the late 90's early 2000's when on-hold times at Network Solutions were extremely long and caused much consternation in the webmaster community.
Steph Actually, I remember that very well too. I had a poor experience as a customer of Network Solutions around the same time. That's the thing. Network Solutions used to be a monopoly. They grew fast, really fast, in a short period of time. The customers paid the price. Champ and his team have worked hard to fix Network Solutions and they have been very effective. It was not an easy job. Up until a few years ago the company was a mess. Network Solutions used to be one of the worst companies with regard to customer service. They are now one of the best.

Brett We know of several web firms shopping for SEO/Ecomm services... Why Network Solutions?
Steph We think we found the right fit. We like the people. We like the vision. We like the fact that we will continue to build out the MonsterCommerce brand. We like that MonsterCommerce headquarters will remain in the St. Louis area. We like everyone will keep their jobs. This component was very important to Ryan and me. Our team has always taken good care of us. And we take care of them.

Brett NetSol is clearly diversifying its vision. How can MonsterCommerce *fit* into such an orgnization?
Steph Network Solutions primary focus is product and service offerings that help businesses create a presence on the web. The MonsterCommerce acquisition is the cornerstone of that vision. Together, we will be singularly focused on helping customers get online- easily and affordably.

Brett What advice do you offer struggling webmasters trying to make ends meet?
Steph Every situation is different. But I would recommend finding a partner who is equally passionate and twice as smart. Try to develop a recurring revenue business model. Build a business on multiple pillars- have several streams of revenue and don't rely on free traffic. Have a clear exit strategy and have fun. I cannot stress the passion part of the equation- "If you find a job you love you'll never have to work a day in your life". I am not sure who I quote there... but I like the statement.

Brett See other acquisitions this year?
Steph The Market is hot. Not surprisingly, we will see many mergers and acquisitions in 2006. Gobble gobble.

Brett Random question: Ebay stock, Google stock, Yahoo! stock, which are you buying?
Steph I own all three. But I'll reserve stock tips for the analysts. Wanna increase your shopping cart conversion? I can help you with that!

Brett Having such a huge client base, you must have seen quite a bit of diversity in the market place.
Steph (Laughing) We really do see it all. What's most impressive and promising is the ingenuity and work ethic of our clients. Much like WebmasterWorld members. Everyone works very hard. The majority of our clients build nice businesses for themselves.

Brett What is the size of an average client account?
Steph We have some large corporate type clients, but our bread and butter is the small to medium sized merchant- 1 - 100 employees.

Brett As I knew this was coming, since about October, I was fascinated about how you announced the news to your team? What was the reaction?
Steph We addressed our team in a quarterly company-wide meeting. I laid out our decision in a clear and matter a fact way and it was well-received. Ryan and I have grown this business from the top of his parent's garage into a 100-person firm over a few years time. Our people trust us to make the right decisions. We kept our team's interests in mind through the process. The news was well received. Network Solutions is very generous with our team. The acquisition offers many opportunities for members of our team.

Brett That's cool you will maintain the MonsterCommerce brand.
Steph Network Solutions will grow MonsterCommerce by placing a lot of money and emphasis behind the MonsterCommerce team and brand. This will provide additional resources and career opportunities for our team while expanding our company's product offerings. We plan on hiring nearly 200 new MonsterCommerce team members in 2006.

Brett Congratulations Steph. See you at the next WebmasterWorld conference.
Steph I wouldn't miss it for the world. Thanks to you and the WebmasterWorld community for your support and guidance over the years.

ADDED News link
Network Solutions to Acquire MonsterCommerce, Leading Provider of e-Commerce Solutions
[biz.yahoo.com]

[edited by: engine at 1:58 pm (utc) on Dec. 16, 2005]

 

rustybrick

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 10504 posted 1:30 pm on Dec 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Wow congrats girls! That is awesome!

MonsterCEO

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 10504 posted 2:09 pm on Dec 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thanks!
We are very excited. We have a bright future as a combined company. WebmasterWorld has been a very important part of our business growth and we will continue to support WebmasterWorld in every way that we can. I can't tell you how much we appreciate all of your support.
Steph

robsnell

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 10504 posted 2:53 pm on Dec 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Congratulations, Steph & Ryan!

Proud to know y'all...

Rob

SEOMike

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 10504 posted 3:07 pm on Dec 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Ditto what Rob said! Pretty impressive for a company run by younger people. You guys reinforce my belief that age doesn't matter in business. Drive, Focus, Motivation, and taking care of your employees matters! My sincere congratulations!

jsinger

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 10504 posted 3:58 pm on Dec 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

I remember ordering a domain on Network Solutions about 4-5 years ago and checking the wrong box on the form. I had accidentally ordered some extra-cost feature that I didn't want.

I immediately phoned them regarding my very innocent error. Was told then that Network Solutions didn't give refunds even in that situation where their instructions were unclear.

I asked to speak to an executive and several days later a vice president DID phone, but I was out of the office. I gave up on getting my money back...just too difficult for the small savings.

They were certainly a testimonial to the arrogance of a monopoly. LET 'EM ROT.

TomWaits

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 10504 posted 4:24 pm on Dec 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Steph (Laughing) Network Solutions is a private company

When did that happen?

Brett_Tabke

WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 10504 posted 4:25 pm on Dec 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Ya, big congrats Ryan and Steph!

EquityMind



 
Msg#: 10504 posted 4:28 pm on Dec 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Steph, Ryan, Dan and all the team that I've known so well all of these years (since PubCon 4 in Boston!) Cant say how proud I am of you guys and how exciting its been to watch you grow.

Congratulations!

Joe

jsinger

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 10504 posted 4:29 pm on Dec 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

We plan on hiring nearly 200 new MonsterCommerce team members in 2006.

What would they do with so many new employees?

jsinger

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 10504 posted 5:14 pm on Dec 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

When did it go private?

"VeriSign to Sell Most of Network Solutions (bought it for $16 Billion 3 years ago, sold it for $100 milion now Friday, 17 October 2003 @ 15:00:00 EDT"

Yeah, i forgot about that briefly famous deal too.

stuntdubl

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 10504 posted 6:18 pm on Dec 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Great news. Congratulations to you all!

MonsterCEO

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 10504 posted 6:51 pm on Dec 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thanks everyone....what a busy day :)

Very exciting things to come!

Steph

icedout

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 10504 posted 8:16 pm on Dec 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

As a client of Monster, I met Stephanie at the most recent Pubcon and I peppered her with questions. She was willing to patiently answer every question I have - very honestly and without the b.s.

I think that as long as she and Ryan are still in charge and keep the Monster culture and focus on the client the same as it's always been - there are great things ahead for Monster...however I do have a fear that it may not stay such a client centered firm if the NetSol people try to take over the day to day too much.

Got my fingeres crossed and congratulations Stephanie!

Alex

otc_cmnn

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 10504 posted 8:30 pm on Dec 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Congrats! - Guess now you have to change your username ;-)

I look forward to the day we can join you at the beach with a sigh of relief.

Shak

WebmasterWorld Senior Member shak us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 10504 posted 12:56 pm on Dec 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

congrats all the way from China, you sure do deserve it

I am sure I have pics of you celebrating this event even before it happened at Pubcon New Orleans ;)

Shak

ThomasB

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 10504 posted 10:01 am on Dec 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

Steph & Ryan, congrats! You really did an awesome job in the past and surely got rewarded well for it! All the best!

MonsterCEO

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 10504 posted 4:25 pm on Dec 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thanks Shak and Thomas!
It means a lot coming from China and Germany :)
Hope to see you both in Boston.
Happy Holidays to you all.
Steph

Buddha

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 10504 posted 7:51 pm on Dec 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hey Steph,

Congrats on your success! As a MC customer for almost 2 years, I'm not surpised by the outcome. I hope R&D for your product will continue to increase. Happy Holidays!

Brian (jewelry biz)

Brett_Tabke

WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 10504 posted 3:58 pm on Dec 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

Amazing what Steph did with that place in only a few short years.

I know of some seo's that have been in the biz for over 5-6 years, and currently have maybe 1 or 2 employees (with one being a family member) to show for their efforts.

It is interesting to go down the list of "top seo's" and see how many of the "experts" never made it out of the muck.

Nice work Steph.

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