August 7, 2006, 12:00 AM

Become.com names CEO for Become Japan Corp.

Masahiro Ueno, a leader in Japan’s Internet industry, has joined Become Japan Corp. as CEO. Launched in April, Become Japan is a joint venture between U.S.-based Become.com and transcosmos Inc. of Japan.

Masahiro Ueno, a leader in Japan’s Internet industry, has joined Become Japan Corp. as CEO. Launched in April, Become Japan is a joint venture between U.S.-based Become.com and transcosmos Inc. of Japan, a pioneer of information-processing outsourcing business.

The Japanese language site is the first international expansion of Become.com’s product research and comparison shopping service.

“We are thrilled and honored that Masahiro Ueno has joined Become Japan as CEO, said Yeogirl Yun, Become.com founder, chairman and CTO. “His deep knowledge and experience in building media and Internet companies will help drive our success in delivering Japan’s most advanced shopping search service.”

Ueno has been working for Internet companies since 1998. He started as CEO of DoubleClick Japan, where he and investors took the company public in 2001, raising $300 million. After that he joined transcosmos as managing director of digital marketing, followed by a stint as CEO of Overture Japan, a subsidiary of Yahoo.

Become.com decided to expand into Japan because it is the second largest e-commerce and online advertising market in the world, says Michael Yang, co-founder and CEO of Become.com. “There already is a lot of activity in the search engine and comparison shopping space in the country,” he says. “Plus, investor transcosmos has a solid record of helping U.S. companies enter the Japanese market. So having that connection has helped us form the joint venture and create a great foundation.”

Become.com searches over 3.2 billion web pages and uses its patent-pending Affinity Index Ranking search technology to provide product reviews and guides; it then eases the process of finding and buying products from brand name retailers at the best prices, the company says. It searches more than 20 million products from 5000 merchants.

With more than 70 million Internet users, Japan is the world’s second largest market for online shopping and advertising, according to Become.com. The Japan Marketing Association estimated the market size at $2.9 billion in 2004.

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