May 24, 2001, 12:00 AM

Goldstein steps down as head of

Mark Goldstein, the entrepreneur who helped found, has quit as CEO and will become Internet adviser to Kmart Corp.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

Mark H. Goldstein has stepped down as chief executive officer of, the company announced Thursday afternoon. He will assume the new role of long-term Internet adviser for BlueLight parent Kmart Corp.

“The board and Goldstein felt he had succeeded in his goal of forming a ground-breaking e-commerce company for Kmart; growing it from a fast-paced start-up, to a structured, solid business,” the company said in a statement that accompanied the announcement.

Just yesterday, BlueLight announced that it was laying off marketing and merchandising staff and would rely on Kmart to provide those functions. The move was cited as a cost-cutting action. That decision and Goldstein’s departure are further evidence that real-world retailing and online retailing are converging, says Rob Labatt, research director for the Gartner Group. “It says the Internet world and old world business aren’t that different,” LaBatt says. “The Internet world is not that colossally different that you have to have duplicate departments.”

"We couldn`t be more pleased with the job Mark has done as the founder and CEO of," Randy Allen, chairman of the Board of Directors said in the statement. "He developed an innovative business model, rallied financial support, built a world-class team, established Kmart`s credibility on the Internet and championed the return of Kmart`s famed BlueLight. We look forward to working with him in his new capacity as Internet Advisor to Kmart, and wish him nothing but the best of luck in any future endeavors."

"The next chapter for is about further optimizing Kmart economics, not focusing on independent innovation," Goldstein said in the prepared statement. "As an entrepreneur at heart, I am moving forward to allow someone most skilled in this area to assume the leadership position at "

Goldstein was one of the founders of when the company was formed in December 1999 through investments from Kmart Corp., SOFTBANK Venture Capital and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.



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