Hook online as new prez

Exec tapped as AOL Broadband topper, replaces Weil

American Online has tapped Lisa Hook prexy of AOL Broadband, replacing Audrey Weil, who will step down in May.

Move is viewed as a way to give the world’s largest Internet service provider new blood and direction toward growth at a time when investors are growing increasingly impatient with AOL Time Warner’s broadband strategy. After losing in its bid for No. 1 cable operator AT&T Broadband to Comcast, AOL has been the focus of Wall Street attention as analysts wait to see what the company will do to get its Internet service distributed on other cable pipelines.

AOL is trying to boost its current subscriber levels and convert Time Warner Cable’s enormous dial-up membership base into broadband consumers. Company missed aggressive 2001 growth levels, blaming the Sept. 11 attacks.

Hook has been the leader of AOL’s mobile devices initiative AOL Anywhere and before that served as chief operating officer of Time Warner Telecommunications. A replacement has not yet been named.

Weil, who voluntarily stepped down after 15 years with the company, is expected to return at the end of the summer to take a new, still-to-be-determined post at the Internet giant. She once oversaw the company’s CompuServe unit and took the AOL Broadband post last summer.

Hook becomes the latest executive shuffle at AOL. Last month, the head of the AOL service, Jonathan Sacks, announced that he would retire.

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