Bronner Names President for Web Startup




Jeff Bussgang, Formerly of Open Market, Joins E-Commerce Team
BOSTON–Jeff Bussgang has joined an Internet startup company being formed by Michael Bronner, founder of relationship marketing firm
Digitas (formerly Bronnercom) as president and COO.
Bussgang had been vice president of marketing with Open Market, Burlington, Mass., a provider of e-commerce software.
At Open Market, vp of strategic development Paul Esdale will serve as interim marketing chief until a
permanent replacement for Bussgang is found, said company representative Katie O’Loughlin. Bussgang’s departure will have no immediate impact on Open Market’s current agency relationships, she said.
The company switched its creative assignment to Partners & Simons, Boston, from crosstown shop TFA/Leo Burnett Technology Group. It uses Carat Freeman, Newton, Mass., for buying chores on its $3-4 million ad assignment. [Adweek, Dec. 20, 1999.]
Bronner has described his new venture, tentatively called Lifetime Rewards.com, as “an e-commerce company with a strong social component.” Bronner is in the process of raising money for the startup, which has yet to launch. He has declined to reveal additional details about the new firm, though indicated the name will likely change.
Bronner received about $123 million for selling some 72 percent of Digitas to San Francisco investment firm Hellman & Friedman, which is guiding the company in its proposed IPO.
Bronner, who has a history of philanthropic activity, will use some of that payout to endow a research center at his alma mater, Boston University, sources said. Among his other related endeavors, he is also chairman of the Boston Walk Committee for the March of Dimes. In the mid-’90s, Bronner and his agency supported the organization’s Birth Defects Foundation with a pro-bono print campaign.
Bronner remains chairman emeritus and a director of Digitas, which is expected to issue public shares of stock later this quarter, trading as DTAS on Nasdaq. K