CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Culture

AOL fills top finance post

The executive shuffle continues at troubled America Online, which says it has appointed Time Warner veteran Stephen Swad as its chief financial officer.

America Online on Friday named AOL Time Warner veteran Steve Swad to become the online division's chief financial officer.

Swad, formerly the executive vice president of finance at AOL Time Warner division Turner Broadcasting System, will fill a position that has been vacant at AOL since September. At that time, then-CFO Joseph Ripp was appointed vice chairman as part of an overall executive shakeup after AOL's new CEO, Jon Miller, joined the division.

Ripp will continue as vice chairman, overseeing technology, advertising sales, network infrastructure and other administrative functions. Swad will oversee financial planning, analysis and reporting as well as tax planning and compliance, the company said.

The appointment is the latest in a string of executive shuffles at AOL Time Warner, the world's largest media company. The AOL division has been under fire after a year of declines that are expected to accelerate in 2003. AOL has also drawn the attention of federal regulators who are investigating whether former executives misreported its financial statements from questionable business deals.

Since the merger that created it in 2001, AOL Time Warner has been a disaster. Most of the top executives who orchestrated the deal have since left or are playing a smaller role in the company's operations. Former CEO Gerald Levin announced his surprise retirement at the end of 2001. Chairman Steve Case said in January he will step down from his position in May. And Vice Chairman Ted Turner shortly thereafter announced he would leave his position.

AOL Time Warner CEO Richard Parsons remains as one of the few original executives from the merger who is active in daily matters. Fixing AOL has been one of Parsons' main objectives, along with reducing debt and winning back investor confidence.

The AOL division faces a difficult road ahead. In addition to expectations that its online advertising revenue will plummet 40 percent to 50 percent in 2003, the division witnessed its core subscriber numbers decline last quarter.

Miller and his team are trying to turn around the division's fortunes with a focus on broadband, revamping its sales organization and launching paid services. Earlier this week, AOL launched a version of MusicNet, an online music service that will charge up to $17.95 a month to download songs legally.