New AOL Chief Names Deputy

NEW YORK Newly appointed AOL CEO Randy Falco tapped a Time Warner insider to serve as his second in command as president and chief operating officer.

Ron Grant was svp of operations at Time Warner, working under company president Jeff Bewkes, the corporate executive in charge of AOL’s turnaround. Bewkes is reported to have pushed for AOL CEO Jon Miller’s replacement with Falco, an NBC broadcast executive, in an effort to bring more operational expertise to the unit.

Grant is no stranger to AOL. Before he moved to Time Warner, he was an svp of business affairs and development at AOL, which he joined from Mercer Management Consulting. Working with Bewkes, Grant was involved in the decision to reorient AOL from a subscription business to an advertising model.

The early results from that shift have been encouraging: AOL’s ad revenue rose 46 percent in the third quarter. Falco pledged to continue the strategy.

“With his deep knowledge of the AOL business and Internet industry as well as his many relationships across Time Warner, Ron will be critical to our efforts to execute against AOL’s new strategy,” Falco said in a statement.

Falco arrives at the AOL job with thin experience in the Internet industry, having spent three decades in broadcast TV positions at NBC.