Trading Desk: RateXchange President Resigns

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Posted: 11/2000

RateXchange President Resigns
By Khali Henderson

Ross Mayfield, president of RateXchange Corporation (www.ratexchange.com), has resigned from the online capacity trading company he co-founded in early 1998.

While Chairman and CEO Don Sledge told PHONE+ in mid-September that there were no plans to replace Mayfield, the company announced Oct. 6 that Jon Merriman would assume the role of both president and CEO. Merriman is a former executive vice president and senior managing director for securities firm First Secutiry Van Kasper. Merriman already was affiliated with RateXchange as a director.

In a statement, Merriman said now that Ratexchange's electronic trading system has been deployed, the public company needs to "accelerate trading and close transactions in order to deliver strong financial results."

At press time, the company's most recent financial filing for the quarter ended June 30, indicated no operating revenues.

Sledge, the industry veteran that joined the startup in October 1999, will remain chairman.

Mayfield resigned in mid-August, but the move was not made public until Sept. 13 when the company shared the news with PHONE+. Mayfield left to pursue other opportunities and is currently incubating a new company called CauseXchange (www. causexchange.com) the charter for which he declined to reveal.

Mayfield's departure comes at a pivotal juncture for the company, which is among the pioneers of the emerging bandwidth trading business. Many of the formative plans for the company's trading systems and exchange points are well under way; six of its 14 planned delivery hubs, for example, are operational.

Its executives, including Mayfield, also have done their share of educational groundwork for the new concept of trading capacity as prominent speakers on the trade show circuit.

Validation of the RateXchange's efforts in this regard may be found in a separate announcement made Sept. 13 by the company's research division, RateXlabs (www.ratexlabs.com). The division, headed by Stanford University Professor Dr. Samuel Chiu, has launched its consulting practice with contracts from two unnamed Fortune 100 companies. In a press statement Sledge says the consulting engagements "demonstrate that the market is moving from investigation to implementation."

Sledge told PHONE+ that the contracts were not necessarily with carriers, noting that many entities, including financial institutions, are taking more than a passing interest in capacity trading. "This is a serious development in the marketplace," Sledge says. "They are beginning to calculate risk and getting ready to start trading."

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