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Steve Case - AOL (Billionaire)

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Steve Case - AOL (Billionaire)

Post by selfmadevip on Fri Jan 11, 2008 8:13 am

Steve Case - AOL (Billionaire)

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Age: 49
Fortune: Self made
Source: AOL
Net Worth: $1.0 billion
Country Of Citizenship: United States
Residence: McLean, Virginia , United States, North America
Industry: Media/Entertainment
Marital Status: Married, 5 children
Education: Williams College, Bachelor of Arts / Science
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Stephen M. Case was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. His father was an attorney, his mother an elementary school teacher. The third of four children, young Steve showed an entrepreneurial bent from an early age. At six, he started a juice stand with his brother Daniel, using limes from their own back yard. The brothers shared a paper route, sold seeds and magazine subscriptions and started a mail order company they called Case Enterprises.

After studying political science at Williams College, Steve Case worked for Procter and Gamble, then managed pizza development for Pepsi's Pizza Hut unit. While traveling for Pizza Hut, he spent many evenings amusing himself with a new gadget, the personal computer. After exploring one of the first online services, the Source, he became fascinated with the possibilities of the online world. His brother Daniel, who had become an investment banker, invited him to attend the 1983 Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas, where he introduced him to the directors of Control Video, a struggling computer game company. Control Video offered Steve a job as a marketing assistant on the spot, and he jumped at the opportunity to pursue his vision of an interactive world of computer-based communication and entertainment.

Control Video, based in Washington, D.C., was principally occupied with providing an online gaming service for Atari computer owners, but when Atari faltered, the service was no longer in demand and Control Video struggled to survive. As Control Video drastically reduced its staff, Case became the company's marketing director. With new CEO at the helm, Control Video made a deal to manage an online gaming service for Commodore computers. They managed to pay off the company's smaller creditors and offered the larger debt-holders a stake in the venture, renamed Quantum Computer Services in 1985.

Case tirelessly sought new investors for the venture, and in 1987 landed a deal to provide custom online services for Apple Computers. Not long after, he made a similar deal with Tandy, but when Apple withdrew from the agreement in 1989 to manage its own online service, Case and Quantum were again faced with a crisis. Case believed the only solution was for Quantum to create its own branded online service that would be independent of any hardware manufacturer. The new service, which Case named America Online, made its national debut in 1989. Quantum Computer Services changed its name to America Online, Inc. in 1991.

As a subscription-based online community, the fledgling AOL placed itself in direct competition with CompuServe, Prodigy and Genie, all backed by large corporate players like IBM, Sears and General Electric. AOL emphasized ease of use, creating a friendly, well-designed environment that attracted average consumers who had not warmed to the forbidding high-tech aura of the larger text-based corporate services. By the end of 1994, AOL had acquired more than a million subscribers and began expansion overseas. Threatened by the upstart, CompuServe tried to buy out AOL for $50 million. At the time, it seemed a reasonable offer and many observers thought AOL made a mistake in turning it down. When AOL went public in 1992 , it still trailed CompuServe in its subscriber base, in three years it had surpassed it.

From the beginning Chairman Kimsey had groomed Steve Case to lead the company, in 1991, Kimsey named Case as his successor and the young marketing executive gradually took over AOL's day-to-day operations. In 1993 he took charge as CEO, while Kimsey stayed on as Chairman. In 1997 Kimsey retired and Steve Case assumed full duties as both Chairman and CEO.

Steve had come to the fore as the leading provider of branded online content, but as more home computer users gained access to the Internet through their phone companies and other providers, industry observers thought they saw AOL's reign coming to an end. Steve Case quickly adapted to the changing marketplace and set out to make AOL the most popular portal for the average consumer to enter the Internet.

With its user-friendly interface, AOL soon consolidated its position as the leading Internet service provider. Even mighty Microsoft, unable to dominate the Internet as it had the realm of system software, looked for ways to neutralize or acquire control of AOL, but Case stood his ground, and in time both Microsoft and telecommunications giant AT&T concluded partnership agreements with AOL. In 1998 AOL bought out the online services of its old rival CompuServe, and in 1999 it acquired Netscape Communications, the maker of popular Internet browsing software. Again and again, Steve Case had confounded his critics. While they predicted AOL's imminent demise, he had created the first blue chip company of the Internet. As of this writing, AOL remains the world's largest Internet service provider, with over 32 million subscribers in the U.S. and Europe.

Under Case's leadership, America Online led the industry in such areas as consumer privacy, integrating technology into schools and ensuring the safety of children on the Internet. Case had succeeded in making the personal computer, connected through the Internet, as much a part of the American home as television or the telephone. He quickly identified the next challenges, acquiring broadband access for his user base, and integrating the old media world of the film and music industries with the new media world of computers and the Internet.

In 2001 Steve Case orchestrated a merger the business press called "the deal of the century," acquiring entertainment and multimedia giant Time Warner for $106 billion. For two years after the merger, Case served as Chairman of the combined enterprise, AOL Time Warner, the largest media company in the world. As Chairman, Case oversaw an unprecedented array of media holdings, including the Warner Brothers film studio, Time Inc. publishing, Turner Broadcasting and CNN. In 2003, Steve Case stepped down as Chairman of AOL Time Warner, although he continues to serve on the Board of Directors.

In addition to his far-flung business interests, Steve Case now devotes much of his energy to philanthropic activities. In the same year as the Time Warner merger, he teamed once again with his very first business partner, his brother Dan, to found Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure (ABC2), an organization that applies an entrepreneurial model to the funding of brain cancer research. Daniel Case succumbed to the disease in 2002, but Steve carries on their work, serving as Chairman of both ABC2 and The Case Foundation, a private family foundation he established with his wife Jean in 1997. Although he has made his home in the Washington, D.C. area for more than 20 years, he remains actively involved in the life of his home state, investing in enterprises that provide new operating models for agriculture and sustainable development in Hawaii.

In July 2005, Steve Case announced the formation of Revolution Health Group (RHG), a company designed to put consumers back in control of their health care decisions. He has committed a substantial part of his own personal fortune to the venture, with an initial investment of $500 million. Case himself chairs a board of directors that includes former Fannie Mae CEO Franklin Raines, former Hewlett-Packard Chief Carly Fiorina, Netscape founder James Barksdale and former Secretary of State Colin Powell.

Although Case characterizes Revolution as a long-term project that will take years to reach its full potential, within the first three months of operation Revolution had already acquired a major interest in seven private companies that provide health care and health information or manage health benefits for employers. It is also financing retail-based health care centers to provide fast, affordable treatment for routine medical conditions, as well as screenings, medical tests, immunizations and other preventive services.

Case has plans to build the Group's web site,, into a virtual one-stop shop where consumers can research health issues, locate doctors, make appointments, track hospital bills and manage their personal health records online. In an industry ripe for reform, Steve Case believes empowering consumers is the best way to do it.
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Re: Steve Case - AOL (Billionaire)

Post by spage on Fri May 09, 2008 9:21 am

Very interesting. Thanx very much! :D
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