For his success in making AOL a household word in such
places as China and Argentina, executives promoted the international
Internet service provider (ISP) chief to manage the entire AOL Time Warner
empire overseas, officials announced Thursday.
Michael Lynton, former Harvard Business School graduate, will manage the
overseas efforts of one of the largest companies in the world as AOL Time
Warner’s executive vice president and International president.
He will continue to manage the international ISP branch of AOL Time Warner,
in addition to his mandate to integrate all the various media holdings and
alliances the company holds.
Dick Parsons, AOL Time Warner king-in-waiting (a.k.a. chief executive
officer-elect), said Lynton’s success so far with the AOL brand makes him
the logical choice to manage all international efforts.
“Michael Lynton has done a terrific job overseeing the international
expansion of our AOL brand,” he said. “He is the perfect choice to lead
our combined international efforts and enable our division to more easily
coordinate with one another to maximize our results.”
Like the United Kingdom of yore, the sun never sets on the AOL Time Warner
empire, and its international operations are in fact one of the few areas
not under the gun at the financially- and strategically-mired mega-media
The fact that AOL is the number one ISP in the world has a lot to do with
Lynton’s efforts to get dial-up Internet access to some far-flung
areas of the world, from Central and South America to Japan to Europe. The
AOL international customers overseas make up a good portion of the more
than 34 million AOL users to date, to the tune of roughly 8.5 million
Lynton “sealed the deal” on his promotion with his efforts to get AOL in
China, a country notorious for its foreign business-ownership laws. Forming a joint
venture with a Chinese PC maker, AOL Time Warner has been offering
Internet service there since last year.
Before joining AOL, Lynton was chairman and chief executive officer of
Pearson plc. Penguin Group, the second-largest English-language publisher
in the world. Before that, he served as president of Hollywood Pictures
and Disney Publishing for the Walt Disney Co.