The original software was implemented by Gary Chevsky, from his own design. Warthen, Chevsky, Justin Grant, and others built the early AskJeeves.com website around that core engine. From the mid-2000s, The "Jeeves" name was dropped and focused on the search engine, with its own algorithm. In late 2010, facing insurmountable competition from more popular search engines like Google, the company outsourced its web search technology and returned to its roots as a question and answer site. Douglas Leeds was elevated from president to CEO in 2010.
Three venture capital firms, Highland Capital Partners, Institutional Venture Partners, and The RODA Group were early investors. Ask.com is currently owned by InterActiveCorp (IAC) under the NASDAQ symbol NASDAQ: IAC, and its corporate headquarters are located at 555 City Center, in the Oakland City Center development in downtown Oakland, California.
History with the Macy's Parade
Ask Jeeves (1999)
Ask.com first partnered with the Macy's Parade in 1999, to help produce the Parade's first-ever internet-based float. The float featured the dapper butler, Jeeves, sitting on top of some of the web's most searched questions, such as "How do I fix a leaky faucet?", "Who won the World Series", "Why is the sky blue?" and "Why is New York called the Big Apple?". In addition, he sits upon two books, alongside a butterfly, a solar system with a rocket, and a paintbrush and easel decorate the side of the float. This float only appeared in 1999 and was replaced by a Jeeves balloon the next year. The butterfly used on the float was reused for the Mother Earth float in the 2000 Parade.
The Jeeves balloon first appeared in the 2000 Macy's Parade, to help celebrate the upcoming fifth anniversary of Ask.com in 2001. The balloon features Jeeves gliding down the Parade route, extending out the golden keys of knowledge. This balloon was retired after the 2002 Parade but was brought back in 2004, with tan skin and the removal of the Golden Keys of Knowledge. He was officially retired after the 2004 Parade and hasn't appeared since. With Jeeves phased out of the Ask.com website since 2006, as well as his fade into obscurity, and Google being the more popular search engine, it is unlikely he will ever appear again.