February 11, 2013, 11:33 AM

Geeknet appoints a new CEO after selling its social media business

Kathryn McCarthy takes over as Geeknet focuses more on e-commerce.

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Geeknet Inc. has promoted executive vice president and chief financial officer Kathryn McCarthy to president and CEO, effective March 1. She takes over as Geeknet focuses more on its ThinkGeek e-commerce business following the company’s sale last fall of Geeknet Media, a social media unit that had struggled financially.

“Katy has been instrumental in leading Geeknet and ThinkGeek over the past two years,” says Ken Langone, who is retiring as president and CEO but will remain on the company’s board as chairman. “Her contributions to the company’s strategic endeavors, including new investments in ThinkGeek and the recent sale of our Media business, have been invaluable.”

Geeknet, No. 175 in the Internet Retailer Top 500, until last Sept. had operated two business: ThinkGeek Inc., which sells electronic gadgets on ThinkGeek.com, and Geeknet Media, which operated the social media sites SourceForge, Slashdot and Freecode. On Sept. 17, 2012, Geeknet sold the Media business to Dice Holdings Inc. for $20 million in cash and the assumption of liabilities. “Selling the Media business will allow us to focus on our business strategies to improve our e-commerce business and our ThinkGeek sourced and custom-developed products by our development team, GeekLabs,” the company said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the third quarter ended Sept. 30, 2012. “We believe the proceeds generated from the sale of the Media business and management’s ability to solely focus on our core e-commerce business result in a positive impact to our future business strategy.”

Before joining Geeknet in January 2011 as executive vice president and chief financial officer, McCarthy worked for 18 years at General Electric Co., where among other positions she was vice president and chief financial officer of GE Healthcare in London. McCarthy also was a vice president of the GE Audit Staff, leading global corporate audits, was chief financial officer of GE Transportation Systems, and held senior management positions with GE Plastics in Europe and the United States.

Geeknet also named Ali Sorbi, the company’s vice president of financial planning and analysis, to succeed McCarthy as chief financial officer. Before Sorbi joined Geeknet in 2011, he was manager of financial planning and analysis at Rosetta Stone, a provider of technology-based language-learning products.

Colon Washburn resigned on Dec. 31 as CEO of ThinkGeek Inc.;  the company has not said whether it will fill that position. A spokesman did not immediately return a call for comment.

For the third quarter ended Sept. 30, Geeknet reported net revenue of $17.26 million, up 17.5% from a year earlier, as net income rose to $8.36 million from a net loss of $2.68 million.

E-commerce accounted for $99.06 million, or 82.9% of net revenue of $119.47 million for the year ended Dec. 31, 2011, compared with $76.34 million, or 80.7% of net revenue of $94.62 million in the prior year, the company said.

The company will report its full year 2012 financial figures on Feb. 30.

Carrie Gouldin, web community manager for ThinkGeek, will address social media strategies in the Small Retailers track at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition 2013 in Chicago in a session titled “Social Media 101 for Small Retailers.

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