Face Time: Ahem, Bob Davis Was Right

The former CEO of LYCOS couldn't turn it into a media company. So he sold it to one, before the bubble burst

Like a lot of other dotcom executives, Bob Davis no longer is one. But in his case the choice was his, not that of angry shareholders and VCs. Davis burst onto the Internet stage in 1995 with that perky little search engine cum portal Lycos and made it profitable, even as others scrambled for revenues. Lycos beat earnings estimates for 19 consecutive quarters. Last October, as dotcoms melted, Davis pulled off a masterstroke, selling the company to Terra Networks, a subsidiary of the Spanish telecom giant Telefonica, for more than $5 billion, including $2 billion in cash.

Then he quit in...

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