AOL (NYSE: TWX) is “reviewing assets it could sell or divest, but will likely keep Bebo”, Reuters reports new CEO Tim Armstrong as telling it on the “sidelines” of the Sun Valley tech conflab in Idaho. Armstrong’s 100-day review of AOL is due to complete within two weeks and Bebo tells us it doesn’t yet know the outcome.
Reuters cites Armstrong as saying Bebo “still has ‘great value’ and that it will be moved to a Ventures unit of the online company so that work can be done to improve the site” ... “some other AOL assets are under review for possible sale or divestiture”.
But the wire didn’t quote him verbatim, so it’s still not 100 percent certain whether AOL will hang on to its $850 million social network.
Bebo has already lost president Joanna Shields, who built AOL’s third division, People Networks, to thread together AIM, ICQ, Bebo, Yedda, Goowy SocialThing. Europe VP and MD Kate Burns, Bebo’s de facto boss in Shields’ absence, is leaving to head AOL’s European ad business, currently called Platform-A, whose London-based head Brendan Condon is returning to New York for an as-yet-unspecified role.
By Robert Andrews