iiNet co-founder leaves

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iiNet co-founder leaves
iiNet's Michael Malone

iiNet CEO Michael Malone will leave the internet service provider he co-founded after 20 years at the company, he announced today.

Malone, who started iiNet in the garage of his parents home in 1993, said that he wants to dedicate his time to other opportunities. Malone had been on extended leave since November last year.

"During this time away from the business, it become clear to me leading iiNet and its passionate staff requires 24x7 commitment, energy and enthusiasm. I have been able to achieve that for over 20 years but have come to the point where I want to dedicate my time to other opportunities."

The company's search for Malone's replacement will be international, with hopes to appoint a new CEO by 30 June. David Buckingham continues to act as CEO in the meantime.

Malone started iiNet with Michael O'Reilly in 1993 in the garage of Malone's parent's house in Western Australia, offering 2,400 and 14,400 bps dial-up Internet access. Under Malone's reign the company went on to list on the ASX in 1999 and has since grown to more than 2,000 staff with an ASX valuation of approximately $1 billion.

Malone said it would be "incredibly hard" to move on, but described company in "best financial shape it's ever been in".

iiNet's chairman Michael Smith described Malone as a "legend" in the telecommunication business.

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