Ask.com CEO leaving, president to take over role

May 12, 2009

(AP) -- The chief executive of Internet search engine Ask.com, Jim Safka, is leaving for personal reasons a little more than a year after he took the post.

Ask's current president, Scott Garell, will take on Safka's duties but not the title. Garell's title is changing to president of Ask Networks.

Safka, 41, and Garell, 44, both joined Ask in January 2008 from other parts of IAC/InterActiveCorp, the Barry Diller-led Internet services company that owns the search engine.

Safka was previously of Primal Ventures, which seeds and cultivates business opportunities for IAC. He kept that title through his time at Ask. Prior to working at Ask, Garell headed IAC Consumer Applications and Portals, which is now known as Mindspark.

Garell said in an interview that Safka will stay on through the end of May, and he expects a smooth transition.

In an e-mail to colleagues Tuesday, Safka said Garell has been part of "every major decision for Ask" since the two began working there together.

"He's a talented leader and believes in our collective cause," he wrote.

Ask is based in Oakland, Calif., while IAC is based in New York.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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