AOL names Ron Grant president, COO

Ron Grant, a Time Warner executive who helped develop AOL's new advertising-based strategy, is named president and COO of AOL.

AOL LLC named Ron Grant president and chief operating officer (COO) on Tuesday.

Grant was most recently the senior vice president for operations at AOL's parent company, Time Warner Inc., where he worked closely with President and COO Jeff Bewkes on strategy, digital initiatives and operations. As part of his duties, he was key to developing AOL's new strategy focused on advertising.

His appointment was announced by AOL's newly installed chairman and chief executive officer (CEO), Randy Falco, who had been president and COO of NBC Universal Television Group before being tapped to replace Jonathan Miller in the top job.

Miller was ousted earlier this month after leading Time Warner's Internet division since 2002. AOL was already in decline when Miller became chairman and CEO and he was unable to arrest its slide, with cable and broadband Internet companies continuing to steal subscribers from AOL and its model based heavily on dial-up service.

The company announced in August that it was restructuring that business model, turning the AOL site into a free portal with the aim of bringing in revenue from online advertising. AOL also said it would lay off up to 5,000 employees.

Grant obviously is well aware of what he's getting into as he moves from the parent company to the subsidiary, where he previously was senior vice president of business affairs and development, managing a team in charge of business development. Grant's "deep knowledge" of AOL and the Internet market, plus his relationships with others at Time Warner are "critical" factors in AOL's change in strategy, Falco said in a written statement.

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