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Thursday, October 5, 2000 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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EPods CEO and founder resigns

Seattle Times Business reporter

At 23 years old, Shae Hong has gone from start-up to step-down within 18 months.

The founder of ePods, a Seattle company marketing an easy-to-use appliance to access the Internet, has resigned as chief executive offficer. He is being replaced by John Song, the company's chief operating officer, formerly of Bellevue-based Aris.

Hong, who will continue to serve on the company's board and is one of the largest shareholders, said the company needs someone who is more operationally oriented.

"I'm young, and I'm definitely more of a creative than a sustainer," Hong said. "It was sad, but it was also the right time. You get to a point where you go through a conversion from being an entrepreneur to an operations person. That wasn't what I was working for."

Hong said the company recently encountered a couple of difficulties, which challenged him as a CEO and made him question the direction of the company. This summer more than 75 employees were laid off.

In August, housewares-maker Salton started distributing ePods to The Bon Marché and soon after linked up with the other Federated Department Stores, including Macy's. Salton, the largest shareholder in ePods, also distributes such products as the George Foreman's Grill.

EPods are flat-screen devices that can be found in the downtown Bon's housewares department next to the mixers and sell for $199.99.

Copyright (c) 2000 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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