AOL (TWX) closed the Bebo deal today. It also appointed Bebo CEO Joanna Shields head of a new group called “People Networks” that will combine Bebo, AIM, ICQ, and AOL’s other community platforms.
It is good news that AOL is finally trying to leverage AIM, which remains one of its biggest assets. At least one AOLer, however, is sceptical of the new arrangement and predicts a short, morose future at the company for Joanna Shields:
As a cynical AOL employee, I believe the AOL-Bebo press release should be reworded as follows:
“Joanna Shields is being appointed as head of the People Networks in order to run the established and previously invulnerable AIM brand into the ground. As a newcomer pawn to Ron Grant unblinkered by any rapport and emotional connection to the teams she inherits, Shields will ably consolidate headcount with the efficiency and ruthlessness of a combiner. After winning resentment from the straggling disenfranchised survivors, Shields will soon be overwhelmed as she struggles to step out of her start-up roots and tame the AIM/ICQ hydra while keeping her Bebo baby free from AOL’s clutches. In early 2009, beleaguered and embittered, Shields’ inevitable resignation will spell the end for People Networks while the surrounding ad business collapses from the loss of valuable audience.”
Don’t like that version? You can read the original here.
See Also: Bebo Buy Silly, AOL Screwed