Former AOL Time Warner CEO Gerry Levin: “People are just too impatient with the emergence of new business cultures.” This is ther right issue to focus on, though I’m not sure it validates the AOL-Time Warner merger. I liked the deal because I thought the corporate cultures were more similar than people realized. At the time, all the emphasis was on how the Time Warner side of the house could be energized to work like the new-economy-savvy AOL. Now the question is whether AOL can grow up and become a real company like Time Warner. It also turns out that the Time Warner management was more willing to change than the AOL execs, which is one reason so many of the latter have been replaced.
The question now is whether, as Levin suggests, it’s just a matter of time until everything at AOLTW is hunky dory, or whether the thesis of the deal was wrong.