NEW YORK (CNNfn) – Ask Jeeves, the Web site that allows users to ask questions and provides answers, can’t answer why Ted Briscoe, the company’s president and chief operating officer, resigned on Wednesday.
But the company did say where Briscoe is going; to privately held Play Streaming Media Group where he will be CEO.
Shares of Ask Jeeves (ASKJ. Research. Estimates ) fell 1-3/16, or 5.5 percent, to 20-7/16, in afternoon trading Wednesday.
Briscoe’s departure comes just four months after he was named to the COO post. Previously, Briscoe held the title of chief marketing officer at the Emeryville, Calif.-based e-commerce company.
The Ask Jeeves Web site enables users to type in questions about a variety of subjects and answers them based on the most popular results combed from other queries on the Internet.
Briscoe will stay with Ask Jeeves through the second quarter to ease the transition process. The company did not name a successor and said executive management officials will take on Briscoe’s duties.
In addition to quickly growing Ask Jeeves at Ask.com into the 13 th largest Web property, the standards Ted has set for operational excellence across the business leave us well positioned to move to the next stage of growth, said Robert Wrubel, CEO of Ask Jeeves.
My take is that the company will continue, US Bancorp Piper Jaffray analyst Safa Rashtchy told CNNfn.com. I don’t think he is a figure that will significantly change the course of the company. Rob Wrubel has really been the visionary guy behind the company. Ted was really more of an operations guy and I’m sure that they can replace him.
The company’s stock has plunged from a 52-week high of 190.5 to a low of 17.87.
Piper Jaffray’s Rashtchy said he believes the company has taken its lumps due to the investor pullback in the entire dot.com space.
If you look at Ask Jeeves’ multiple, it is trading a lot lower than comparables, even in the group. Investors don’t have as much confidence, but I think that the company will have a significant growth ramp in revenue. It really is a very undervalued company, Rashtchy said. Investors are still watching this company, but not getting into them right now.
In late January, Ask Jeeves acquired privately held Web search engine firm Direct Hit Technologies Inc. in a stock deal valued at roughly $507 million.