AOL names Andreessen chief tech officer

His mission: to spread harmony among AOL and Netscape staff

AOL has confirmed that Netscape co-founder and CTO Marc Andreessen will become its overall chief technology officer provided the merger between the two companies proceeds as planned. Andreessen will essentially become AOL CEO Steve Case's tame tech pundit. His role, said AOL, is not to oversee the company's ongoing technology development programmes -- whether under the AOL banner or Netscape's -- but to evaluate emerging technologies that will help the company extend its 'AOL Anywhere' strategy. The 27-year-old will also help formulate Internet policy, particularly in relation to Netscape's three-year technology and marketing deal with Sun. Proving what a bloody nice bloke he really is, Andreessen also wants to act as the merger's unofficial marriage guidance counsellor, bringing the different company cultures together. "I would hope to be a real catalyst... to splice those genes together," he said in an interview with the Reuters newsagency. ®

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