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Q: backgrounder ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: backgrounder
Category: Business and Money
Asked by: howhigh-ga
List Price: $25.00
Posted: 30 Apr 2003 09:30 PDT
Expires: 30 May 2003 09:30 PDT
Question ID: 197492
More information on Rich Sorkin, former CEO of Zip2

Request for Question Clarification by scriptor-ga on 30 Apr 2003 09:39 PDT
Dear howhigh,

I have found information on Mr. Sorkin. What exactly do you expect as
a valid answer?


Clarification of Question by howhigh-ga on 01 May 2003 08:20 PDT
a resume and several pages of info about him, maybe an interview. 
wwould like to get to know how he ran the company, his financial
situation, etc.
Subject: Re: backgrounder
Answered By: sabrina_j6-ga on 23 May 2003 12:23 PDT
Greetings howhigh,

Rich Sorkin graduated from Stanford Business School with a Master's
Degree in Business Administration in 1988 (alumni association, He
started Zip2  as an Internet software and media startup in Mountain
View, California. Sorkin became the Chief Executive Officer of the
company and streamlined Zip2 into a sophisticated supplier of online
publishing technology that helps publishers create electronic versions
of their newspapers His main philosophy behind the company was that
high-tech managers were wrong to neglect public policy, and he wanted
to revolutionize the industry with his new start-up. He was extremely
dedicated to Zip2, and has been quoted as saying: “I've been
ruthlessly prioritizing my time while I'm building a company."
(Foreign policy in Silicon Valley,

Zip2 provided a service whereby visitors to a Zip2 site can look up a
movie, then find a restaurant or nightclub in the same neighborhood
with a few mouse clicks. The Zip2 software also lets visitors get
door-to-door driving directions. One hundred and thirty six newspapers
signed up with Zip2 Corporations. Rich Sorkin later claimed that his
company was a huge success, claiming that his combined newspaper sites
racked up eight million viewers a month (nearly triple the traffic
Microsoft's 10 Sidewalk sites are drawing). Sorkin appeared to hold
some disdain for Microsoft, one of his largest competitors. He once
said: ''Microsoft tries to scare people into giving up, but it's just
not working''

In June of 1998, Sorkin moved Zip2, then two-years-old, into the
highly competitive arts and entertainment guide arena. However, he
stuck with its old business model, by leveraging names of content
providers already proven in the field. These content providers were
newspapers. During this transition, Sorkin said: "Media companies,
particularly newspapers, have a very deep strength in bridging from
old to new media. The missing piece is technology and economies of
scale. We built our model to be the technological solution for
newspaper companies.” (

“While other guides, such as Microsoft's Sidewalk service, launch
their own guides branded under new names, Zip2 hopes to make its mint
by custom-tailoring individual sites for newspapers. "Media companies,
particularly newspapers, have a very deep strength in bridging from
old to new media," said Rich Sorkin, president and CEO of Zip2. "The
missing piece is technology and economies of scale. We built our model
to be the technological solution for newspaper companies." (From ‘A
Tale of Two Cities’, by Laura Rich and Mark Gimei, The Industry
Standard, 1998,,1902,828,00.html)

In 1998, Sorkin arranged a merger with CitySearch, with was then led
by its CEO Charles Conn. However, the deal was called in May. This new
development served as an impetus for huge changes in the management of
Zip2. Under these new changes, Zip2’s Board of Director’s removed Rich
Sorkin as CEO, giving him a lesser, non-operational role as chairman.
Upon his appointment as Chairman, Rich Sorkin was quoted as saying "If
there's an appropriate role for me to contribute, I will. Otherwise,
I'll go and grow another company"

After the appointment of a new CEO at Zip2, Rich Sorkin joined
Creative Labs, which has shipped more multimedia products than any
other company in the industry. He serves as the director of audio and
communications. Apart from providing a few comments made on the tech
industry, Mr. Sorkin has not given any interviews to the media
regarding his personal or his business life.

You may also find the following links useful: 

How Rich Sorkin viewed Zip2
Online guides get new player,

Rich Sorkin’s new role after merger of CitySearch and Zip2

If necessary, please feel free to ask for a clarification on this

Hope this helps! 
There are no comments at this time.

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