Andreessen steps down as CTO at AOL

Marc Andreessen has stepped down from the post of chief technology officer at America Online less than seven months after he took the job. The Netscape Communications co-founder will take a part-time advisory role with the company, AOL said in a statement.

AOL will appoint William Raduchel of Sun Microsystems as its new CTO. Raduchel served as chief information officer at Sun from 1990 to 1998, and was most recently chief strategy officer and a member of Sun's executive committee.

Andreessen, who became AOL's first CTO after it closed its acquisition of Netscape in February, will retain a part-time role at AOL as a strategic advisor, giving advice on emerging technologies and new investment opportunities. He will divide his time between working with start-ups and working with AOL, the company said.

"I'm looking forward to my new role, which will allow me to combine my desire to focus more time on getting involved with start-ups with the opportunity to contribute to AOL's future success," Andreessen said in the statement.

His appointment at AOL was viewed by some as a way of keeping some of Netscape's more senior staff aboard after the merger. At least one analyst wasn't surprised by Andreessen's departure, noting that AOL acquired Netscape primarily for its high-end server software and Netcenter portal, and not for its browser.

"The writing was on the wall. Andreessen is a software engineer. His claim to fame is 'visioneering' important new software, and fundamentally AOL is not a software company," said Kathy Hale, an internet analyst with Dataquest.

"I imagine he wants to get on with his life and work in an area where maybe he might get appreciated more," she added.

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