Autobytel.com Inc.'s chief operating officer has resigned to form a consulting company, and the Irvine Internet car-shopping service said it will be her first client.
Ann Delligatta, 53, joined Autobytel.com in 1997 as chief technical officer and in 1998 was promoted to chief operating officer. The company hasn't yet named a replacement and Delligatta will continue many of her former duties as a consultant, spokeswoman Betsy Isroelit said Tuesday.
Autobytel.com went public in March 1999 at $23 a share and more than doubled in its first day of trading. The shares fell as low as $4 in April, as it faces more competition from auto makers' Web sites and Internet retailers such as Priceline.com Inc. and eBay Inc.
Delligatta had her own technical and management consulting firm prior to joining Autobytel.com.
The company announced Delligatta's resignation after the close of U.S. markets. The stock closed at $5.47, up 22 cents a share, in Nasdaq trading.