By David Hamilton, theWHIR.com
October 29, 2008 — The original founders of Web hosting provider Site5 (www.site5.com) are leaving their posts and their last messages on the company blog following a Tuesday announcement that they are handing Site5 over to Ben Welch-Bolen and Joel Brown, who promise to maintain the company’s vision and deliver some improvements.
According to an announcement on Site5’s blog and message board, founders Matt Lightner and Rod Armstrong have given their decade-old company to Web hosting veterans Welch-Bolen and Brown, who are not strangers to the Site5 team, having worked with the two previously. Lightner and Armstrong describe them as “great, open, honest, hard-working individuals” in their joint message to customers.
Under the new management, Welch-Bolen will be chief executive officer and Brown, company president. Welsh-Bolen will be handling the day to day operations, while Brown will be responsible for software development and “the larger picture.” They promise unparalleled cooperation in their new positions, as their business partnership was founded on a solid base as they have been best friends since high school.
“I know that a change in ownership might worry some and I just wanted to stress that Site5 will continue to follow the same principles that its founders did,” Welch-Bolen wrote in a message board response to the announcement. “I’m a webmaster and Internet evangelist, and as such I will ensure that Site5 continues to provide the online community with quality hosting. Plus, all the same great Site5 staff are here to help you with anything you need!”
Brown said that he is also excited to begin his senior role at Site5. “Since founding Site5 in 1999, Matt and Rod have built a great company. They’ve also assembled an exceptionally capable and talented team, and I am excited to be a part of it. Ben and I think Site5 has great potential, and we can’t wait to get started.”
In April 2007, Site5 signed a significant deal with The Planet (www.theplanet.com), making it the exclusive infrastructure provider for its hosting platform. This also made Site5 one of The Planet’s largest customers, occupying more than 250 servers in its Houston and Dallas data centers.
Important for affiliate and resellers, a significant segment of its business, Site5 launched an affiliate program at the beginning of 2008, offering significantly higher commission rates, including payouts of $85 per referral and up to $100 per sale.