Re: [Salon] Who wants to date a dot-com CEO?

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From: David Crook (
Date: Fri Sep 29 2000 - 10:12:46 PDT

I prefered's coverage:

Who's your daddy's CEO is whoring herself out to save the company.
When: 9/25/2000
Points: 109


At 10:43 PM 9/28/00 -0700, Adam Rifkin wrote:
>Oh my gosh, they're not kidding.
>Too bad she's not looking for a 25-year-old dot-com CEO... :)
>Who wants to date a dot-com CEO?
>By Katharine Mieszkowski
>A Net executive offers herself up as the prize in a "win a date with our
>CEO and make her mother happy" contest.
>Sep. 22, 2000 | Picture yourself trying to say "path to profitability"
>three times, fast, with a straight face. How about groveling for a few
>more million from stony-faced suits to keep your company afloat?
>Post-dot-com downturn, it's got to be humiliating being any kind of Web CEO.
>But there may be no dot-com CEO role with as much potential for
>embarrassment as that of Liz Kalodner, CEO of, a dating and
>relating site. Because right now, Kalodner is being offered up as the
>"prize" in a contest called "Win a date with our CEO and
>make her mother happy."
>"It's the perfect marriage of my personal needs and the company's goals,"
>says Kalodner gamely. "I'm looking for a husband -- go ahead and print
>that in bold. I'm 39, and my mother wants grandchildren," she says,
>goading me on: "You can't ask me embarrassing questions. This is what I do
>for a living."
>Kalodner, one of those busy, busy, busy Silicon Valley CEOs, "hasn't been
>out much lately," the site informs us. "This has the staff concerned, and
>her mother downright worried." (Hmm, have you ever fretted about your
>CEO's love life?)
>So the company devised a contest to hook up Kalodner with four dates in
>four time zones, and also to seek to prove the effectiveness of
>SocialNet's "matching technology." You can't accuse Kalodner of not
>"eating her own dog food," as the saying goes.
>To enter, men between the ages of 30 and 50 in the United States fill out
>a profile on the site describing who they are and what they're looking
>for, and then -- holy virtual yenta! -- the site's system determines
>whether they might be a good match for Kalodner, based on the profile she
>filled out. If the system determines the guy's a potential match, the
>would-be Romeo sends an e-mail to Kalodner explaining why he should be
>chosen to be her date. On Oct. 16, 12 finalists selected by Kalodner, her
>staff and -- yes -- her mother will be posted on the site, and SocialNet
>members will vote on whom she should actually go out with.
>Since the contest launched Sept. 14, more than 100 men whose profiles
>"match" Kalodner's have sent her e-mails, as have 200 rejected by the
>profiling system but begging to get into the running anyway.
>Here's what one of Kalodner's vying suitors wrote to make his case: "Your
>picture and profile are too good to be true. With that great smile and
>your background, the contest could be as competitive as the Olympics. I am
>ready to compete to win your love." One mother wrote in to recommend her
>son, who is a top dog at Universal, asserting that he would think she was
>nuts, but that the two have a lot in common.
>Maybe the ego gratification of having all these guys pleading to go out
>with you outweighs the mortification of having your own mother opining on
>the Web site you run about why you haven't yet found a mate.
>"Look, Liz is a good catch. She's smart. She doesn't need anybody with
>money," Kalodner's mother, Debra, encourages suitors. "You don't have to
>be rich because she's self-supporting. She has a good sense of humor
>because you can't get through life if you can't laugh. And she doesn't
>have much of a temper." Debra Kalodner is reputedly already shopping for
>her mother-of-the-bride dress in anticipation of the contest's happy outcome.
>Maybe Mama Kalodner and the mother of that Universal muckety-muck could
>just meet -- perhaps in a chat room -- and do the deal on behalf of their
>respective offspring, and the enterprising kids wouldn't have to be
>bothered with wasting time on dating first.
>The SocialNet CEO does insinuate that she fully grasps the inherent
>weirdness of her situation. At the top of her profile, she writes: "I bet
>the CEO of Amazon never had to do this." And in her profile, where we
>learn about everything from her worst date ever ("the man who rearranged
>my furniture and rifled through all my mail, all within the first 15
>minutes of our meeting") to her aspirations for the ideal family life ("a
>family that doesn't appear on 'Cops' or 'Jerry Springer'"), we also learn:
>"My staff and my mother have conspired to turn my personal life into a
>promotional event."
>Maybe the CEO-as-date promotional event had to happen given all the hoopla
>about dot-com gold diggers and hot Silicon Valley bachelors. Besides, CEOs
>are already expected to give up every minute of their personal lives --
>why not make their quests for romance feed into the bottom line too?
>We must not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will
>be to arrive where we began and to know the place for the first time.
> -- T.S. Eliot

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