Stephane Panier appointed global head of Bebo. But what does it mean?

Less than a week ago, after failing to mention Bebo in AOL’s list of core product goals, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong was roughly quoted as saying: ““Bebo may be better off under AOL Ventures, with it’s own P&L.” This led to speculation that AOL is planning to spin Bebo off into a separate company, and, sure enough, things have begun to change already at the social networking site.

Stephane Panier was just appointed Global Head of Bebo. Panier was previously VP and COO at the network. Panier is an experienced strategist and financial officer who spent time at Google. His appointment fills a position left vacant for 14 months after Joanna Shields’ departure.

AOL famously purchased Bebo for $850 million in early 2008. So far, it has failed to make much of the acquisition, despite expansion into Europe. Is AOL trying to end speculation about a potential sell-off? Or is AOL preparing to cut its losses? What do you think?