January 30, 2001, 9:47 AM —
The Walt Disney Co. confirmed plans Monday to abandon its Go.com portal, which served as a gateway to numerous Disney Web sites.The entertainment giant also will convert all outstanding shares of The Walt Disney Internet Group common stock into shares of Disney common stock.
Disney used the Go.com portal as a central location with links to its myriad Web sites -- Disney.com, the sports site ESPN.com, ABC.com and a number of other corporate and entertainment-related sites. The company decided to drop its focus on Go.com due to changes in the economic climate surrounding the Internet, according to a statement. Nearly 400 people will lose their jobs as a result.
The decision was difficult, but necessary for Disney to remain competitive and to make money through its Web ventures, Steve Bornstein, chairman of The Walt Disney Internet Group said in a statement.
Disney now has a streamlined version of Go.com to help users find content during the transition period. Many of the services once provided by the portal will shift to other Disney sites. For example, ABC.com will now run the e-mail service. Disney also plans to sell off some of its Go.com assets, including the Infoseek search engine, the company said.
The Walt Disney Internet Group will continue operations with its current management as a business segment of the parent company. Disney remains interested in the Internet and will use it as a major part of the company's business strategy and will continue to invest in its other Web properties, the company said.
Disney, based in Burbank, California, is at +1-818-560-1000 or http://www.disney.com/.