Subscribers and laid-off employees aren't the only ones defecting from Time Warner's
Case is resigning from Time Warner's board to devote himself to Revolution Health Group. Since its debut earlier this year, Revolution has acquired an odd assortment of health care-related technology companies. Case intends to assemble those pieces into a consumer-friendly health care services group by next year. Along the way, Revolution is aiming to revolutionize leisurely pursuits, with even more eclectic acquisitions like the Flexcar car-sharing service and a timeshare offering for luxury homes.
Revolution's board is a motley crew of former CEOs. We're talking Hewlett-Packard's
No one could use a comeback more than Case. He truly revolutionized online access by providing dial-up service with a consumer-friendly interface. He also lent the burgeoning Internet a little personality, fueled in part by his regular open letters to the growing AOL community. It was clear from the early 1990s that America Online would trump the competition. However, Case's reputation and his Midas touch took a turn for the tin with the acquisition of Time Warner.
Case has gotten a bum rap on that front. Analysts see the company's tumbling share price and assume the deal was a fiasco. However, compare Time Warner's fortunes to the sluggish shares of media titans and the vanquished stock of many dot-com marvels, and you'll find a company that survived being both. In fact, shares of Time Warner have actually beaten the market since being recommended in Motley Fool Stock Advisor a little over three years ago. The Time Warner side held the company in check when its online endeavors initially floundered. These days, the Time Warner side is struggling, while a surge in online advertising has Microsoft
Revolution won't be straying too far from Case's Internet stomping grounds; it's aspiring to be an Internet destination for scheduling appointments, tracking health care spending, reviewing different doctors, and possibly even going for an online doctor visit.
Health care reform has gotten plenty of lip service over the years, but this seems to be a genuine effort to build a better health-care mousetrap online. The company's board certainly has every incentive to make it work. The board members have seen their cheese moved once. They're hungry.
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz remains an America Online subscriber. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story. The Fool has a disclosure policy. He is also part of the Rule Breakersnewsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.