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This week in '99: Dixons announces four-way split

In the second of Silicon's weekly looks back at the top stories of this time last year, we recall a time before Freeserve was made famous as the UK's largest ever Internet IPO. It now boasts nearly 1.6 million subscribers, but this is the news that paved the way for its success.
Written by John Oates, Contributor

In the second of Silicon's weekly looks back at the top stories of this time last year, we recall a time before Freeserve was made famous as the UK's largest ever Internet IPO. It now boasts nearly 1.6 million subscribers, but this is the news that paved the way for its success.

Dixons Store Group (DSG) has announced a corporate reshuffle - splitting the group into four separate parts. DSG is setting up a subsidiary company for Freeserve - its free Internet service provider - to be headed by group chief executive, John Clare. General manager, Mark Danby will run the firm on a day-to day basis. Retail business will be split into three units: Dixons, PC World and Currys. Dixons will incorporate the Group's eponymous chain of stores, The Link phone outlets, airport shops and fledgling game store, @jakarta. This will be headed by Trevor Bish-Jones. The PC World unit will include the store's mail-order equivalent, PC World Direct and will be run by David Hamid. The Currys chain will be run by David Gilbert. A spokeswoman for DSG said: "The changes reflect our growth over the last five years. The business has changed shape; this will let us continue to grow while supporting our existing stores." She said the changes to Freeserve formalise the structure of the ISP, as it has grown much faster than expected. The changes take effect on 8 March.
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