The McKinley Group, publisher of the Magellan Internet search directory, has ousted David Hayden as chairman and chief executive and named computer industry veteran Kenneth Grunzweig as acting head of the company. Hayden will stay on as a consultant during a transition period.
The moves came amid increasing signs of serious financial trouble at the 3-year-old Internet publishing concern.
Hayden is a co-founder of McKinley and the husband of Isabel Maxwell, daughter of the late British publishing magnate Robert Maxwell.
Isabel Maxwell and her twin sister, Christine--along with Hayden and Christine Maxwell’s husband, Roger Malina--formed McKinley in 1993 to publish one of the first Internet directories. They launched the Magellan Web search service in September 1995.
McKinley received investments from Internet companies, including Netcom, and formed strategic alliances with AT&T;, IBM, Microsoft, Nynex, Europe Online and others. But the company missed out on a frenzied round of public stock offerings this spring that saw rivals Yahoo, InfoSeek, Excite and Lycos go public.
In late April, McKinley announced a plan to acquire Novo Media Group, a privately held Internet content developer based in San Francisco. But according to Novo President Kelly A. Rodriques, the acquisition is on hold, as is a round of much-needed private financing contingent on the merger.
McKinley executives won’t comment on the Novo deal or related financial transactions. Grunzweig comes to McKinley from TravelNet, where he was president and chief executive. He has held executive posts at Lotus One Source and Aldus.