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AOL Broadband getting a new chief

The online service appoints Lisa Hook, leader of its AOL Anywhere initiative, to replace Audrey Weil, who in May will step down as president of the broadband division.

America Online said Friday that it has named a new head for its broadband division.

The online service appointed Lisa Hook, the leader of its mobile-devices initiative, AOL Anywhere, to replace Audrey Weil, a 15-year AOL veteran who in May will step down as president of AOL Broadband.

Weil, who once oversaw the company's CompuServe unit, is expected to return to the company at the end of the summer to take on new, but still undefined, responsibilities, AOL spokesman Jim Whitney said. He added that Weil's decision was voluntary.

Hook will become head of AOL Broadband once Weil steps down in May.

With the creation of media giant AOL Time Warner, executives promised that the merger would convert AOL's enormous membership base living in Time Warner Cable locales into broadband consumers.

Analysts say upgrading dial-up users to broadband could potentially mean continued revenue growth for AOL. But at the same time, Wall Street has raised questions about the division's growth prospects, saying a thinning dial-up access market and sagging advertising spending could pose considerable financial problems.

AOL has not named a replacement for Hook, but expects to do so shortly, Whitney said. The executive change was announced to employees three weeks ago.

Before joining AOL, Hook served as chief operating officer of Time Warner Telecommunications, overseeing telecom-related deals.

AOL, the online unit of AOL Time Warner, has undergone a series of executive shuffles during the past year. In November, for example, AOL Time Warner assigned former chief financial officer J. Michael Kelly to serve in the newly created position of chief operating officer of the AOL unit. Last month, the head of the AOL service, Jonathan Sacks, announced his retirement to pursue other interests.