AOL Deutschland ups Ahlers


MUNICH -- Hamburg-based Internet portal AOL Deutschland, which sold off its Internet connection business to Hamburg telecommunications company HanseNet almost four months ago and recently reconstituted as AOL Deutschland Medien GmbH, has promoted senior vp Torsten Ahlers to managing director, the company announced Friday.

Ahlers replaces Charles Fraenkl, former president of AOL Deutschland. Fraenkl is moving over to HanseNet, a subsidiary of Telecom Italia, a company spokesman said.

AOL Deutschland Medien will now be in direct competition with such Internet portals as Yahoo, T-Online, Google and MSN. One of its core competencies, will be designing and operating Internet portals for other companies, Ahlers said in an interview with the Financial Times Deutschland. The first customer for this new business will be HanseNet itself.

Ahlers said in the same interview that AOL Deutschland plans on expanding into Austria and perhaps Switzerland as soon as the end of the first quarter of 2007.
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