Internet company Terra Lycos, a subsidiary of Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica, has appointed Stephen J. Killeen president of operations in the United States.

In the newly-created position Killeen will fill a hole left by the departure earlier this month of Lycos founder and CEO Bob Davis, who continues on as non-executive vice president to the board.

Terra CEO Abel Linares also stepped down last week, sending the company's shares on a downward spike. Shares rose a reported 5.34% upon announcement of Killeen's appointment.

Previously president and general manager of Marketing Services Group, Inc. (MSGi), Killeen will report directly to Terra Lycos executive president Joaquim Agut. Prior to MSGi, Killeen was president and CEO of Raging Bull and, previous to that, vice president of Fidelity Investments.

Terra bought out Lycos in May 2000 for a reported $12.5bn. Terra Lycos' US operations are based in Massachusetts.