DesertNet Hires Co-Founder Biggers as CEO

Andy Sutcliffe leaves to join Internet startup.

DesertNet, a Tucson-based, software-development company, announced last week that it has hired co-founder Doug Biggers to replace Andy Sutcliffe as CEO.

Biggers, the former editor and publisher, and co-founder, of AAN member Tucson Weekly, helped launch DesertNet in 1997 with the company’s CTO Wil Gerken. The company is best know for its Dispatch content-management software, which is used by over 50 AAN papers.

After serving a little less than two years as DesertNet’s CEO, Sutcliffe is leaving to become president and CEO of Creation Engines, a San Francisco-based, Internet startup. He will continue to serve on DesertNet’s board of directors.

Earlier this year, Biggers sold the 16-year-old Tucson Weekly to Wick Communications, Inc., a family-owned newspaper chain headquartered one hour south of Tucson in Sierra Vista. Since the sale, he has devoted most of his time to his wife, Katie, and the couple’s two young children, Keegan and Logan. Biggers said his only impulse act since the sale was buying a 34-foot sailboat that is now moored in a San Diego marina.

“I would probably still be a bum if Sutcliffe hadn’t decided to leave DesertNet, but I’m thrilled about the opportunity to collaborate with Wil Gerken, so it’s a decent trade-off,” Biggers stated in a recent e-mail. “I’m certainly not planning on selling my sailboat, however.”

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