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.
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Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives
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