Netscape averts local closure

Netscape has decided not to close its Australian offices after local managing director Rob Stewart made a rescue dash to the troubled Internet vendor's head offices in the US.

Netscape Australia released a statement yesterday afternoon quoting Stewart as saying: "Netscape will continue to operate from its Melbourne and Sydney offices with all 16 staff remaining with the organisation."

However, the statement failed to shed any further light on the local ramifications of America Online's plan to acquire Netscape in an all-stock transaction valued at $US4.2 billion.

Netscape Australia's national marketing manager, Imogen Boas, told Network World Today Stewart had succeeded in convincing head office executives to reverse a decision that "had pretty much been taken" to close the Australian offices and "fall back" to an Asia Pacific regional office in Singapore.

The motivation for the reversal was Stewart's ability to convince head office of the scale of opportunities available in the local marketplace, Boas said.

However, Boas noted that "if the AOL acquisition is successful and, we have no reason to believe it won't be, then who knows what the new owners will do [about the local offices]".

Boas said she had been asked to remain after the vendor had originally sought to make her redundant and was presently "considering her options".

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