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"The Digital Services Development Group will focus on new interactive products that can be a major source of AOL’s future growth and offer important benefits to AOLTW’s other businesses as well."
——Dick Parsons, AOLTW CEO-elect
PITTMAN BOBS FOR AOL APPLE
Takes Over Operating Responsibilities With Barry Named to New Digital Services Development Group
If there’s a power vacuum, you can be sure AOL Time Warner COO-elect Bob Pittman will find it.

The savvy exec added operational responsibilities for AOL to his duties today, with AOL Chairman/CEO Barry Schuler named to lead a new division that will develop digital services for the company’s platforms. He’ll continue to report to Pittman as Chairman/CEO of the Digital Services Development Group.

Call it getting kicked upstairs new-economy style.

Pittman, who ran AOL before the AOLTW merger, will take over for Schuler while continuing to fulfill his responsibilities as COO-elect of the parent company.

AOLTW CEO-elect Dick Parsons said: "The Digital Services Development Group will focus on new interactive products that can be a major source of AOL’s future growth and offer important benefits to AOLTW’s other businesses as well. Bob and I asked Barry Schuler to lead our efforts in this area because he is uniquely qualified to direct our developmental programs for home networking solutions, digital home services such as digital music delivery and other critical interactive products. In fact, he’s just developed a self-flosser that works on voice command, and it’s very cool."

Added Pittman: "AOL has enormous strengths and opportunities. The company has the leading brand and most loyal customers in the Internet space. It has an established record of market leadership and innovation that is second to none. With the help of COO Mike Kelly and the other extraordinary people at AOL, my immediate focus will be to build on all these strengths and continue to drive subscriber growth, while also taking the necessary steps to get our advertising business back on track. And, of course, kick Bill Gates’ butt. I’m also excited about continuing to work with Barry on important digital priorities, not only for AOL, but also the entire company."

Added Schuler: "Inventing new products and services is my first love and the company’s best use of my talent. I am excited to build this new group, which will create a whole new generation of digital products for consumers and help drive the growth of AOL Time Warner. Ya know the automatic flushing toilet? That was me."

Schuler was named AOL Chairman/CEO in January 2001. Before that, he was President of the Interactive Services Group at America Online, responsible for AOL, Netscape and CompuServe. He founded the interactive multimedia company Medior, Inc. in 1989.

Wall Street was unimpressed by the move, as the company’s stock closed down 10 cents from yesterday, ending at $21.85.

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