AOL Time Warner, like so many one-time stock market darlings, has been lagging of late. The company and its investors are on a seemingly endless quest of synergies, looking for ways that a company that owns everything from Wakko to People to CNN to Netscape can work with itself.
As something of an intellectual exercise, Goldman, Sachs put up $20,000 in a competition between teams of MBA students. The task: tell incoming AOLTW CEO Richard Parsons how to maximize return.
The team from Harvard (and note: the team consisted of four women) won, beating finalists from Dartmouth and Yale. Unlike its competition, the Harvard team didn’t preach synergy, though. They said that the best way for AOLTW to make money was to let its individual units compete with each other, each unit seeking to maximize its own return without particular regard for how it might affect another unit.
I’d be interested to know where those four women get jobs after graduation.