Ovitz boards Loudcloud

Exec joins site constructor, steps away from CheckOut.com

Michael Ovitz has joined the board of Loudcloud, the Web site builder and maintainer formed by Netscape founder Marc Andreessen.

Position also includes an undisclosed investment by Ovitz in the venture, whose board also boasts William V. Campbell, acting CEO of Intuit; Andrew Rachleff, partner of Benchmark Capital; Roderick M. Sherwood, formerly with BroadStream; and Michael Green, formerly senior veep and general manager of worldwide sales at Fore Systems.

Checked out

Separately, Ovitz said he has distanced himself from CheckOut.com, saying that while he previously served as a board member of the music, homevid and vidgame e-tailer, he has stepped down from the post. He also was never an investor in the venture, despite previous reports which partnered him with Yucaipa Cos. topper Ron Burkle to hold a 51% stake.

Andreessen, most recently chief technology officer at AOL, created Loudcloud last year together with other AOL and Netscape alums to provide solutions for Internet businesses to build, maintain and improve the effectiveness of their Web sites. Company has more than 370 employees based out of its Sunnyvale offices.

Loudcloud has already formed partnerships with Oracle, Hewlett Packard and Sun Microsystems. Clients include Nike, Britannica.com, Acteva, Catapulse, Echo Online Networks, Gamers.com, Wish.com and HomeGain.

Lynx links

The Ovitz relationship fits in well with his other technology endeavors, including Lynx Technology Group. Through the Internet investment and consultancy company, headed by Peter Levin, Ovitz has focused on distribution platforms and technology infrastructure companies.

Lynx has already acquired stakes in CampusPipeline.com, Gamespy Industries, Play Inc., Radiospy, LibertyOne, Scour and Dimension Music and consults for AskJeeves.com, Shockwave and Octopus.com.

“Loudcloud is an exciting new opportunity to be part of the effort to build a new and more efficient technology infrastructure,” Levin said. “This investment and affiliation will provide the Ovitz companies with a superior knowledge of the systems that will control information gathering and distribution networks of the future.”

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