USA.Net, the Colorado Springs-based e-mail outsourcing provider, announced on Mon., Aug. 23 that President and Chief Executive Officer John Gerdelman resigned. Gerdelman was hired into that position in May to help the company launch its initial public offering. USA.Net withdrew its IPO registration on Aug. 13.

Gerdelman, who was president of MCI WorldCom’s global network and information technology divisions prior to joining USA.Net, is leaving “to pursue other opportunities outside of USA.Net,” said Elizabeth Mars, a spokeswoman for the company. Mars said that Gerdelman would continue to serve on USA.Net’s board of directors.

“We looked at our management team and decided that the management team we have in place right now, which is closer to our original management team, is more appropriate since we are not a public company,” Mars said.

Mars said Gerdelman’s departure did not mean the company would abandon its now-postponed IPO. “The management team in place now is capable of competing and running as a soon-to-be-public company,” she said.

John Street, chairman of the board of directors, has assumed the titles of president and CEO. Mars said the change is “already effected.” Street served as president and CEO of the company from 1997 to 1999.

Just prior to Gerdelman’s departure, Street said the postponement of the IPO was not a major setback.

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“We’re working on other funding avenues,” he said, but declined to specify what those avenues were, other than that the company has “access to a lot of private capital.”

“We were not that concerned about going public,” he added. “We wanted to go public in a hot market, but the market cooled.”

Street said the company is now focused on growth. In addition to its e-mail outsourcing services, it will launch multilingual services to expand globally. It recently launched a Portuguese Web site for the Brazilian market, and expects to launch services in other markets throughout the fall, Street said.

The final component of the company’s growth strategy is its Ad Mail program.

“Ad Mail is a product where we help the traditional print media into online (services),” Street said. “We’re providing a temporary e-mail address to the customers of a newspaper — the advertisers — an address where all the inquiries can go to for the ad they place in a newspaper.” Mars noted that USA.Net has signed up 10 major daily newspapers for the service since its June launch; four classified advertising software vendors that represent more than 65 percent of the daily newspapers in the country have also signed agreements.

Street and his wife, Mary Beazley — who acts as chief financial officer — own more than 40 percent of the company. Other major investors include Netscape, American Express and venture-capital firm ABS Ventures.