AOL is history at Time Warner

Time Warner has begun a new phase of its corporate identity, returning to the name it used before its $112 billion merger with America Online in January 2001.

In a startling end to a now infamous and often disruptive merger, the corporation’s board of directors approved the name change last week. The company’s logo will be changed and its stock-ticker symbol will revert to “TWX,” which Time Warner used before the AOL debacle.

In a corporate adventure that will most certainly symbolize the era bust, America Online was a high flying online media company when its chairman, entrepreneur Steve Case, bought Time Warner with what turned out to be vastly inflated stock. After the financial disaster that followed, Case was ousted, America Online struggled to maintain its relevance in the broadband era, and the federal government began a continuing investigation of the failed merger.

Time Warner partisans have called for a corporate name change for more than 18 months, since America Online’s business and accounting troubles dragged down the price of the parent company’s stock and depressed the value of their stock-based compensation and retirement accounts.

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