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Top News Appoints New COO

August 21, 2003 announced that it has appointed Dev Bhatia as its chief operating officer. says it helps drivers get out of their leases, without paying an early termination penalty, by connecting them with buyers who are looking for great deals on short-term leases. The company says it facilitates the lease transfer process with its support and proprietary "E-File" platform.

"We're at the forefront of a rapidly growing industry," said CEO Michael Penfield. "Our own expanding business operations required us to bring in a seasoned executive who has been here before, and can take us to the next level."

Bhatia, who becomes the Company's first COO, was previously chairman and CEO of HotSocket, a venture-backed Internet software and services company where he raised more than $24 million from investors including Goldman Sachs, Highland Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners, and Zero Stage Capital. Prior to that, he was vice president of brand management at Yoyodyne, Inc., before its acquisition by Yahoo! in 1998.

Bhatia previously developed strategy, wrote business plans, and raised initial funding for ScreamingMedia Inc., which went public in August of 2000.

"Dev's experience in setting start-ups on the right course and building them into scaled businesses is exactly what we were looking for," said Ken Miller,'s chairman. Miller was most recently a director of Viacom Inc. He is the former vice chairman of Credit Suisse First Boston. Prior, he served as president and CEO of The Lodestar Group, an investment firm.

According to the company, industry experts project that auto lease transfers will become a billion- dollar marketplace over the next five years, as more consumers become aware of the marketplace and its potential to save them thousands of dollars in exiting a car lease. Currently, more than 17 million U.S. consumers drive leased cars -- one out of every three cars driven off the lot. More than 25 percent say they would exit their leases -- if not for the termination fees.

About LeaseTrading Inc. says it is America's marketplace for car lease transfers. is a privately-held Delaware corporation, with offices in California and Connecticut. For more information, contact Shirley Braginton, at or call toll free at 1-888-280-9009.

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