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Bebo founder returns to social network as adviser

Thu, 12/09/2010 - 5:05am
The Associated Press

Bebo, the social network that was dumped by AOL two years after the Internet company purchased it, is trying to regain some startup magic by bringing back its founder.

Bebo is announcing Thursday that Michael Birch, who started Bebo in 2005 and sold it to AOL for $850 million in 2008, has returned as a strategic adviser. He has also invested an undisclosed amount in Bebo.

Birch says he hopes to help Bebo's current management make the social network "relevant again." The current team was put in place after AOL Inc. sold Bebo to Criterion Capital Partners in June for an undisclosed amount.

AOL bought Bebo hoping it would drive traffic to its other ad-supported websites, but it has failed to match the popularity of sites like Facebook and Twitter.

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