Digg and IAC's Ask.com search engine are getting close to launching an Ask-branded version of the popular headline-voting site. We'd heard in December that the two companies were working together. Indeed, the delay in the project's launch may have contributed to Ask.com CEO Jim Lanzone's ouster. Without Lanzone, the project is continuing. IAC's hiring a general manager to run an unspecified website — which could well be the Digg-like news site.
Working for Barry Diller is a harrowing experience. Just take a look at Jim Lanzone, the former CEO of Ask.com, before he joined IAC, and after. Even so, we're reconsidering our sympathetic view of Lanzone. We hear that one big reason he was fired was the slipping schedule on an Ask.com news site. Despite putting 20 people nearly full-time on the project, and getting help from Digg, Lanzone missed a December deadline for the site, now slated for a February launch.
Bloody Diller. IAC's Ask.com has a new CEO, Jim Safka, who was swiftly installed in the place of Jim Lanzone. Lanzone was fired by Barry Diller, according to sources. And so yet another talented entrepreneurial type makes way for a Diller yes-man. The cover story is that Lanzone left to accept a position as entrepreneur-in-residence at Redpoint Ventures — a cozy, face-saving sort of holding tank for CEOs in between jobs.