Steve Case’s revolution would seem to be on track.
Three years ago, the co-founder and former CEO of AOL used $500 million of his own money to start a private holding company called Revolution LLC. In the process, he put together a corporate board that included several people who were, like himself, fashioning new lives after career setbacks.
“We don’t just aim for a return, we seek to make history,” Case said of the company that had several goals, including helping people manage their own health.
Revolution quickly began acquiring health-related enterprises.
And a year ago, the company, now called Revolution Health Group, started the online RevolutionHealth.com, a blend of health information, advice, social networking and blogs.
As of March, the site had 11.5 million monthly visitors and was the Internet’s fourth-ranked health site.
“Profitability is on the horizon, but we haven’t put a timetable on it yet,” Case told the online site MediaPostPublications.
The rise of RevolutionHealth.com represents a triumph of sorts for Case, who made millions at AOL but suffered setbacks after the ill-fated merger of AOL and Time Warner in 2001.
Just as Revolution provided a chance for Case to regroup, service on its board also has provided a soft landing of sorts for others.
Indeed, given the number of corporate battle-scarred survivors on the board, one tech blogger referred to it as “Steve Case’s League of Extraordinary Banished Executives.” Chief among the exiles may be board member Franklin D. Raines, the former CEO of Fannie Mae, the government-sponsored lender.
Raines, who was the White House budget director in the Clinton administration, left Fannie Mae in 2004 after the agency was rocked by controversies over accounting procedures and executive salaries.
Last month, he reached a $25 million settlement with federal regulators over the irregularities.
Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard and no stranger to controversy, is also on Revolution’s board. She pulled off the Hewlett-Packard merger with Compaq in 2001, only to lose her job in 2005 after she lost the favor of her board.
Revolution board member Stephen F. Wiggins had to give up his as CEO of Oxford Health Plans in 1998 after the company suffered significant losses.
Raines, Fiorina and Wiggins are joined on the board by government insiders, venture capitalists, high-tech veterans.
Chief amongst equals is former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, whose resume also includes stints as national security adviser and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
No stranger to criticism for his role in the lead-up to the war in Irag, Powell joined Revolution as a board member and investor soon after he left government in 2005.
That same year, Powell and Raines joined Jeff Zients, another member of Revolution’s board, in an unsuccessful attempt to purchase the Washington Nationals baseball team.
Zients is the former CEO of the Advisory Board Company, a consulting services company that made him a millionaire many times over.
He’s also teamed with Revolution board member John K. Delaney, the co-founder and CEO of CapitalSource, in several investments.
James L. Barksdale, the former head of Netscape, serves on Revolution’s board as do AOL veterans Donn Davis, Revolution’s president, and Miles R. Gilburne and former JP Morgan executive David Golden, Revolution’s chief financial officer.
Ron Klain, who is also Revolution’s vice president and general counsel, rounds off the board. A consummate Democratic insider, Klain led the team picking judges in the Clinton administration from 1993 to 1994. He was chief of staff first for Attorney General Janet Reno and then for Vice President Al Gore.
This presidential election season, he’s been blogging for The New York Times.
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