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marchFIRST, Inc.
Industry systems integrator and internet consulting
Fate merged, then bankrupt
Successor divine
Founded March 2000
Defunct May 2001
Key people
Bob Bernard, CEO

marchFIRST, Inc. was a short-lived international systems integrator and internet consulting company at the tail end of the dot-com bubble. marchFIRST was a Nasdaq traded public company whose peak stock price reached $52. By the time the company filed for bankruptcy, it traded for pennies ($0.16 on March 28, 2001).


MarchFIRST company was formed on March 1, 2000 by the merger of Whittman-Hart, a respected systems integrator employing thousands of consultants in the US, Canada, and Europe, and USWeb/CKS, a pioneering interactive services company formed during the 1990s by accretion of numerous local or regional Internet and Web design consultancies. The CEO was Bob Bernard of Whittman-Hart.

The merger was considered problematic by many observers, with a clash between the buttoned-down culture of Whittman-Hart and the Web casual culture of USWeb/CKS inevitable. By late 2000, despite aggressive moves by Bernard, the problems became public, with the stock price dropping 60% in one day on October 24, 2000. Despite a $150 million cash infusion by Francisco Partners in December, the company folded in early 2001. On March 13, 2001 the company leadership around Bernard resigned, and on April 12, 2001, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. In May 2001, the company was dissolved and the marchFIRST brand was retired.

Razorfish acquired several offices, Divine many of the Midwest offices, and others were sold individually. The international offices in Hamburg, Germany were acquired by Divine and those in Oslo by the Scandinavian Itera Consulting Group.

Bernard later reacquired a much reduced part of the company and it was reconstituted as Whittman-Hart. Bernard died in 2007.

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