Britannica.com Inc.

Infobox Company
company_name = Britannica.com
company_
company_type = Private
foundation = 1999
location = Chicago
key_people = Jacqui Safra (principal owner)
industry = Reference material
products = Britannica Online
revenue = Not reported
homepage = http://www.britannica.com/
num_employees = About 400 (300 in Chicago, 100 worldwide)
The company Britannica.com was spun off in 1999 from Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., which owns the "Encyclopædia Britannica", to develop the "Britannica" as an online resource. Both companies are owned by Jacqui Safra under a holding company. The initial strategy was to give content away for free, and for the website to act as a portal (dubbed eBLAST) that would aggregate content from the Internet.

Its original CEO was Don Yannias, a longtime associate of Jacqui Safra; however, Yannias' tenure was marked by poor planning and management. For example, on the first day that the "Britannica" was made available online in October 1999, the servers crashed due to overly high traffic. Initially, the encyclopedia was made available for free online (at a time when the print version cost roughly $1250); however, this changed in early 2001. Despite an enormous ad campaign, profitability was elusive. In November 2000, 16% of its workforce had to be cut, along with its chief financial officer, Jim Hurley, and its editor at large, Bob McHenry; in March 2001, 68% of its U.S. workforce was cut. In May 2001, Yannias was replaced by Ilan Yeshua, who became CEO both of Britannica.com and of Encyclopædia Britannica Inc.

ee also

* Encyclopædia Britannica Inc.

References

* [http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0EIN/is_1999_June_17/ai_54909022 Large ad campaign to launch Britannica.com] (17 June 1999)
* [http://news.zdnet.com/2100-9595_22-515994.html Announcement of Britannica.com launch] (18 October 1999)
* [http://www.internetnews.com/bus-news/article.php/3_227091 Debut failure of Britannica.com website] (27 October 1999)
* [http://www.destinationkm.com/articles/default.asp?ArticleID=564 Intermediate historical article] (September 2000)
* [http://news.com.com/Britannica.com+cuts+staff/2100-1023_3-248699.html News story reporting first round of layoffs] (15 November 2000)
* [http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,41591-0.html Britannica's sundry attempts to reinvent itself, this time with Britney Spears] (9 February 2001)
* [http://news.com.com/2100-1023-254059.html News story reporting second round of layoffs, and fees] (13 March 2001)
* [http://www.internetnews.com/ec-news/article.php/4_713311 Britannica.com moves to subscription service] (14 March 2001)
* [http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0HWW/is_14_4/ai_73746980 Post-mortem of Britannica.com's failure as a portal] (9 April 2001)
* [http://www.charlestonco.com/pressrm/viewpr.cfm?id=92 Press release announcing Yannias' replacement as CEO] (16 May 2001)
* [http://www.internetnews.com/ec-news/article.php/4_785031 Capsule history] (14 June 2001)


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