Another former Google Exec. Joins AOL to head Global AdvertisingBy Rachel Metz, Gaea News Network
Thursday, April 30, 2009
AOL names yet another head of online ad business
NEW YORK — AOL, the struggling Internet unit that Time Warner Inc. is likely to spin off, said Thursday that it will put a new executive in charge of its online advertising business — making him the fourth person to hold that title in little over a year. Former Google Inc. executive Jeff Levick will be the new president of global advertising and strategy, heading the company’s Platform-A ad business. He will take the post in the next few weeks.
The management change is the latest of many in recent months, and comes a day after Time Warner crept closer to separating AOL from the rest of the media conglomerate.
Levick, who worked most recently as Google’s vice president of industry development and marketing for the Americas region, replaces former Yahoo Inc. executive Gregory Coleman, who took the job in February. Coleman had replaced Lynda Clarizio, who got the post in March 2008.
Levick will be joining the company a few weeks after AOL’s new chief executive, Tim Armstrong, who had been a senior vice president at Google and head of the company’s North and South American advertising operations.
Armstrong and Levick worked together for more than seven years at Google. David Hallerman, senior analyst at research firm eMarketer, said Armstrong likely wanted someone at AOL he was familiar with.
“It’s not unheard of for people to hire people they know,” he said.
Over the past few years, AOL has been realigning itself around three core businesses: Its Platform-A advertising unit, MediaGlow publishing unit and People Networks social media unit. These businesses are meant to bring in revenue through online advertising, as a way to offset losses from AOL’s fading dial-up Internet access service.
AOL’s financial problems aren’t easing, though. Time Warner said Wednesday that in the first quarter AOL’s ad sales sank 20 percent and subscription revenue dropped 27 percent. Total revenue fell 23 percent to $867 million.
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