Critical Path Founder Stepping Down as Chairman

Critical Path founder David Hayden has stepped down from his position as executive chairman of the company, citing an interest in pursuing other ventures.

David Hayden, founder of Critical Path Inc., stepped down from his position as executive chairman of the company, effective immediately, citing an interest in pursuing other ventures.

Hayden founded the once free-wheeling e-mail server software company in Feb. 1997, then stepped down as president and CEO in November 1998, four months before the companys initial public offering.

He re-assumed a more active role as executive chairman early last year after Critical Path had been nearly brought down by a number of fraudulent sales transactions on top of $1.8 billion in shaky acquisitions, which generated little revenue for the company and were largely written off.

Hayden, who was not tainted by the scandal, led the effort to put a new management team in place and secure new capital for the San Francisco-based company.

"I am very proud of our accomplishments over the past year and I feel that I have succeeded in doing what the board asked me to do in February of 2001—restore Critical Path to health," said Hayden, in a statement issued Monday. "I felt this was the right time to step aside and focus my energies on a new venture Im working on."

Hayden founded Archipelago, LLC, a venture capital company focused on early-stage technology companies, in 2000. Prior to starting Critical Path, he was chairman, president and CEO of the McKinley Group, which developed the Magellan search engine. The McKinley Group and its technology was acquired by the now-defunct Excite Corp. in 1996.

Critical Path reported last week a net loss of $26.01 million on $23.7 million of revenues for the first quarter ended March 31. The companys software license revenues nearly doubled to $10.9 million from $5.6 million in the same period a year ago, though its hosting and services revenues were down considerably.