Accomplished Executive Brings Extensive Experience at Major
Consumer Branded Companies
WOODLAND HILLS, Calif., Oct 14, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- United Online, Inc. (Nasdaq: UNTD), a leading provider of consumer products and services over the Internet, announced today that Robert S. Apatoff, 50, has been appointed President of the company's FTD Group, Inc. ("FTD") subsidiary, effective November 3, 2008. Apatoff, a highly-accomplished executive with extensive leadership experience at companies with well-known consumer brands, served as a director of FTD for four years until its recent acquisition by United Online on August 26, 2008. FTD is a leading international provider of floral related products and services under the FTD and Interflora brands.
Mr. Apatoff will report directly to United Online Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Mark R. Goldston. In addition to maintaining his executive roles at United Online, Mr. Goldston will continue in his current role as Chairman of FTD and will assume the additional responsibilities as FTD's Chief Executive Officer, effective November 3, 2008.
Mr. Apatoff most recently served as Managing Director with Patriarch Partners, LLC, a private equity investment firm, where he was responsible for the management and development of Patriarch's consumer goods companies. Prior to that, Mr. Apatoff served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Rand McNally & Company where he engineered a financial turnaround and completed the successful sale of the company to Patriarch Partners, LLC in December 2007. Throughout his career, Mr. Apatoff has held key executive roles with several of America's leading corporations including serving as Senior Vice-President and Chief Marketing Officer at The Allstate Corporation, and in senior management and marketing roles at Aetna, Inc., L.A. Gear, Inc., Reebok International, Ltd. and Anheuser Busch, Inc.
"This will be the third time that Rob Apatoff and I have teamed up together in the past 20 years," said Mr. Goldston. "We have had the privilege of helping to build some truly outstanding brands, and I am thrilled to have him join us as President of FTD. In addition to being a great leader and marketer, Rob is a true retail strategist. His vision and talent should be a welcome presence to the thousands of FTD member florists who are the lifeblood of the FTD retail network."
"I am looking forward to once again working with Mark Goldston to help put a fresh and innovative stamp on the FTD and Interflora brands," said Mr. Apatoff. "I have great respect and admiration for what Mark and his team have built at United Online over the past 10 years, which is one of the true business success stories. FTD and Interflora have a rich history and are great brands for us to cultivate and expand. As a former member of the FTD board of directors for over four years, I am fortunate to start this new opportunity with a unique understanding and perspective relating to the FTD business. Considering my experience working with Mark in the past, I strongly believe that we can have a major impact upon the FTD business going forward."
Michael Soenen, FTD's current President and Chief Executive Officer who had previously announced his intention to leave the company, will remain employed with FTD as special advisor to the Chief Executive Officer through December 31, 2008 and may also provide consulting services to FTD through March 15, 2009. "Mike Soenen has been an exceptional resource throughout the ownership transition and I have greatly enjoyed working with this fine executive. Mike has assembled a terrific team at FTD, and we expect him to continue to add considerable value during the transition,"said Mr. Goldston.
Rob Apatoff's diverse business and marketing experience includes the famous Anheuser Busch "Bud Bowl", the Spuds Mackenzie campaign for Budweiser, Allstate's Olympic efforts and "Good Hands" campaigns, as well as partnering with Mr. Goldston on the launch of the Reebok Pump, L.A. Gear lighted shoes and several memorable marketing campaigns. As the President and Chief Executive Officer of Rand McNally & Company from 2003-2008, Mr. Apatoff presided over the turnaround of the company from a revenue and profitability perspective and he played an instrumental role in the sale of the company to Patriarch Partners, LLC in December 2007.
A native of Chicago, Mr. Apatoff grew up on the city's north side and he and his wife Vicki and their two daughters reside in Winnetka, Illinois. He will be headquartered at FTD's offices located in Downers Grove, Illinois. He serves on the Board of Trustees of Goodman Theatre in Chicago, and the Board of Directors of Students in Free Enterprise. He is also a member of the Board of Visitors of DePauw University, where he received his B.A. in Business and Communications in 1980.
About United Online
United Online (Nasdaq: UNTD) is a leading provider of consumer products and services over the Internet, where the company's brands have attracted a large online audience that includes more than 60 million registered consumer accounts. The company's floral-related offerings include products and services for consumers and retail florists, as well as for other retail locations offering floral products and services, in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, and the Republic of Ireland. The floral business utilizes the highly recognized FTD (www.ftd.com) and Interflora (www.interflora.co.uk) brands, both supported by the Mercury Man logo that is displayed in approximately 45,000 retail floral shops worldwide. The company's Classmates Media services include online social networking (www.Classmates.com) and online loyalty marketing (www.MyPoints.com) in North America. Classmates Media also operates online social networking Web sites in a number of European countries. The company's Communications services include value-priced Internet access and email provided by NetZero (www.netzero.com) and Juno (www.Juno.com).
Headquartered in Woodland Hills, CA, United Online operates through a global network of locations in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, Germany, and India. More information about United Online is available on the company's Web site located at: www.unitedonline.com.
SOURCE: United Online, Inc.
United Online, Inc. Investors: Erik Randerson, CFA, 818-287-3350 email@example.com or Press: Scott Matulis, 818-287-3388 firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright Business Wire 2008
News Provided by COMTEX