The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Monday, August 11, 2003

In a move that everyone could see coming, AOL Time Warner is strongly considering dropping the "AOL" out of its corporate name, thus putting the final nail in the coffin of the most notable business merger to come out of the dot-com era.

But there's a twist! It appears that the name change request is coming from, not the corporate parent, but from the America Online division:

[America Online head Jonathan Miller's] rationale for seeking the change is that he is concerned that negative publicity regarding the parent company is often associated with the America Online division, the source said, particularly since the full name of AOL Time Warner is often abbreviated to "AOL" in news stories.

And from this, it's not helping the beleaguered unit from turning itself around.

That's rich! AOL management raided Time Warner with fistfuls of inflated stock options, took over the world's biggest media company, then proceeded to run what should have been a golden opportunity into the dirt. And now, the sputtering division that's dying a death of a thousand cuts is blaming the parent company for the mess it's in.