Last week AOL's Chief Operating Officer announced that he had resigned after four months on the job.

"It was a short-lived romance," wrote Business Week. "The 48-year-old Federal Federal Express veteran was hired early this year to impose some order at the fast-growing online service provider, which is suffering from intensified competition and controversy over its billing practices."

Business Week expressed cynicism at AOL's explanation--that Razzouk didn't want to relocate his family--saying "sources close to AOL said clashes of management styles played a role, as did Razzouk's failure to develop rapport with many on the AOL team. Razzouk couldn't be reached for comment."

Robert Seidman was more blunt.
I kept looking for the paragraph containing "Did you know the word 'gullible' was not in the dictionary? Check it out on AOL at Keyword: WEBSTER ." Instead I found:

"It has become clear that my continued active involvement in major day-to-day business decisions would be helpful to AOL, so I have taken on a growing role in determining marketing strategies, pricing and product plans," said Steve Case in the press release.

One rumor is that Bill Razzouk and Ted Leonsis had some squabbles and Ted won. I guess Bill and Ted's excellent adventure wasn't that excellent. AOL officials deny this, saying it was more a matter of things just not working out on either side after a few months...

The best line I heard on this comes from someone who works in the online industry who wishes to remain anonymous (perhaps he wants to work for AOL someday.) "Once Case made his decision, Razzouk absolutely, positively had to get out of there overnight." Ah, a little FedEx humor...

-- Quotes taken from Seidman's Online Insider

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