New York (Reuters) - Steve Case, the former chairman of AOL Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:AOL - news) and the architect of the mega-merger that formed the media company, has spoken positively about the idea of spinning off the company's underperforming Internet assets, the New York Times reported on Tuesday.
America Online was billed as the growth driver for AOL Time Warner, but has become something of a weak link as it faces weak online advertising and sluggish demand for its core dial-up Internet service. Its poor results are seen as a factor in the 57 percent fall in AOL Time Warner's shares since AOL bought Time Warner for $103.5 billion in stock in January 2001.
Citing two unnamed senior officials who have spoken with Case, the Times reported that the former executive has privately spoken favorably about spinning off the company's America Online unit. Case has publicly defended the idea of keeping the America Online assets intact in the face of speculation of a spin-off. In an interview with Reuters this month, Case said the board should give company executives time to succeed before considering a spin-off of the assets.
News source: Yahoo! News