America Online undergoes organizational changes

AOL Time Warner Inc. today announced major changes in the senior management structure of its America Online Inc. division.

New York-based AOL Time Warner said in a statement that the changes were made to help Dulles, Va.-based AOL become profitable as well as to increase its focus on broadband services. On Monday, AOL Time Warner cut 2002 full-year earnings expectations for AOL, citing continued softness in the unit's advertising business.

AOL said Jon Miller, its chairman and CEO, will now oversee the AOL brand, interactive marketing and AOL Broadband, with the "goal of setting clearer priorities, increasing accountability and clarifying organizational roles."

The company said it was eliminating the positions of COO and president. It also said AOL President Ray Oglethorpe will retire after serving as a senior adviser during the transition.

Joseph Ripp, currently AOL's executive vice president and chief financial officer, will become vice chairman and will directly oversee other corporate and operating functions, including the company's network infrastructure and technology operations.

Vice Chairman Ted Leonsis will be the chairman of newly created councils overseeing brand, product and technology strategy, according to the company.

In addition, AOL said James de Castro, president of AOL Interactive Services and the executive who oversees the flagship AOL service, will join Ripp and Leonsis in a newly created Senior Strategy Group working with Miller and Don Logan, chairman of AOL Time Warner's Media and Communications Group, to set corporate goals and formulate strategies.

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