William L. Schrader, former chief executive of PSINet Inc., an Ashburn Internet pioneer that imploded when the tech bubble burst, has signed on as chief executive of Map ROI Systems Inc.

The two-year-old Sterling firm sells software to help manage procurement for government contractors.

Schrader, 53, is one of the Washington area's technology luminaries. He founded PSINet in 1989, and throughout the 1990s he attempted to create the largest commercial Internet service provider by gobbling up competitors. The company held an initial public offering in 1995, and in January 1999 it struck a 20-year, $105 million deal to buy the naming rights for the Baltimore Ravens' stadium. At its height in the spring of 2000, PSINet had more than 9,000 employees, and its stock traded at $60 per share.

But demand for Internet services never met the capacity that had been built. The firm racked up $4.3 billion in debt. In May 2001, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, and its assets were spun off and sold.

Schrader said he spent his four-year hiatus from full-time work consulting for software companies and spending more time with his family.

He was introduced to Map ROI last summer and quietly signed on as chief executive of the 30-person firm in February. The company did not announce the appointment until yesterday to allow Schrader some time on the job, he said.

The company's software automates the procurement process so contractors can track requests for proposals, find out who the contracting officers are, discover potential competitors and subcontractors, and build a proposal that meets the government's specifications.

"My interest was to get back into something I knew was going to grow, had some open-ended size to it, was well funded by backers and had a good existing team. Surprisingly, that's a hard thing to find," Schrader said.

Map ROI's founder, Christopher K. Stahl, continues to serve as the company's chairman.

Once head of a company with 9,000 employees, William L. Schrader is now chief executive of a 2-year-old software firm with 30 employees.