AOL Interactive Services head steps down –

In a move that is likely to provide even more grist for the rumor mill, America Online Inc. (AOL) Interactive Services President James de Castro is leaving the company, one month after launching the company's new software product.

De Castro's departure, announced Tuesday, comes as just the latest example of a top executive bowing out from AOL as the world's largest Internet service provider (ISP) struggles to stay on its feet.

The company said that de Castro is leaving to "seek new opportunities" after seven months at AOL.

"I'm now looking for an opportunity to run a company," de Castro said in a statement.

He will depart the company at the end of the month, after which time his organization will report to AOL Vice Chairman Ted Leonsis.

De Castro was central in shaping AOL's new 8.0 software, the company said. AOL 8.0 has been touted by new Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jon Miller as the company's most important product release yet.

"Jimmy infused the whole place with new energy, and assembled a world-class team that has restored the sizzle of our brand by creating innovative, must-have new programming," Miller said in a statement.

Shares of AOL parent company AOL Time Warner Inc. (AOL) traded up .67 percent to US$15.05 a share following release of the news.

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