AOL Execs Depart Amid Another Company Reorganization

By Erin Harrison July 26, 2011

As the saying goes, it’s lonely at the top – and at AOL, the top just got lonelier.

As AOL attempts to reorganize its leadership again, the Internet company’s heads of online ad sales and corporate communications are leaving.

AOL’s CEO Tim Armstrong outlined several leadership changes in an internal email Monday, the Associated Press reported, including the departure of AOL’s president of global advertising and strategy, Jeff Levick, and Lauren Hurvitz, head of corporate communications.

New York-based AOL is consolidating its marketing and corporate communications functions into one unit, according to the AP report.

Armstrong is a former Google Inc. advertising executive, who reportedly recruited Levick after taking the helm at AOL in 2009 – the two worked together for more than seven years at Google, the AP said.

First quarter earnings released in May disappointed investors, after AOL reported advertising revenue was essentially flat after excluding the $41.8 million impact of AOL’s 2010 initiatives.

In 2009, AOL launches a number of hyperlocal news site, under its Patch brand, which has yet to deliver revenue for the lackluster company. But the second half of 2011 is when “a significant number of Patch hyperlocal sites are projected to become profitable,” according to a recent Forbes blog.

Forbes’ Jeff Bercovici points out that many of the more established Patch sites, including Greenwich and Maplewood, have house ads in premium positions.

“Never a good sign,” blogged Bercovici. ‘“Our ads get new customers. Just ask your competition,’ reads one. If these Patches aren’t in the black by the end of the year, Brody – or whoever is running AOL’s ad sales by then – is going to have a lot of explaining to do.”

AOL has certainly fallen behind, but not all is grim.

According to comScore figures released in June, Google’s Ad Network reached 92.8 percent of Americans online in June, followed by Yahoo’s Network Plus (86.3 percent), AOL Advertising (85.9 percent), Yahoo! Sites (83.2 percent) and Google (82.2).

Levick will be replaced by Ned Brody, formerly executive vice president of paid services, who is taking on the newly created position of chief revenue officer and president of AOL’s advertising unit, according to the AP.

AOL’s second quarter 2011 financial results will be announced on Aug. 9 at 8 a.m. ET.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2011, taking place Sept. 13-15, 2011, in Austin, Texas. ITEXPO offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. To register, click here.

Erin Harrison is Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives, for TMC, where she oversees the company's strategic editorial initiatives, including the launch of several new print and online initiatives. She plays an active role in the print publications and TechZone360, covering IP communications, information technology and other related topics. To read more of Erin's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives

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