Dirk Freytag, one of the guys in charge of AOL’s advertising techology, got the boot this week, a source close to AOL subsidiary AD TECH tells us. AOL PR confirms his departure.
Like a British royal, Freytag had multiple titles. He was Senior Vice President at AOL and CEO at ADTECH.
Here’s our source’s take on his ouster:
Dirk was a holdover from the pre-Tim Armstrong days. He oversaw the migration from Doubleclick to ADTECH as AOL’s ad server, which went pretty well (especiall by AOL standards). That earned him serious brownie points with AOL management, and TA was initially pretty enamoured with him.
He was then given resources to build up ADTECH’s presence in the US, selling the ad serving product, however it performed pretty miserably. Sales numbers are tiny, the product’s extremely buggy, new products have been introduced that failed to sell even a single unit (ADTECH Analytics, for example), and most importantly, development didn’t keep up with the industry.
So I think it’s a clear-cut case of management being held accountable.
Sounds like our guy Dirk was pretty good at one job, but then he got Peter Principled into something that just wasn’t his gig. If you’re recruiting, here’s his LinkedIn profile.
AOL PR tells us:
Since joining AOL in 2005 through the acquisition of ADTECH, an international supplier of digital marketing solutions and AOL Advertising’s ad server, Dirk has been an integral member of our management team, helping lead the strategic direction behind the company’s ad serving engine and management technology. We wish Dirk all the best in his future endeavours.”
UPDATE: A source close to Dirk Freytag says he was not fired from AOL, but left on his own accord. This source forwarded us part of an internal memo which has language that could support this view:
Dirk Freytag will be stepping down from his role of head of advertising products and technologies. He has decided not to renew his contract, and will be leaving AOL at the end of June. I want to personally thank Dirk for all his contributions to both ADTECH and AOL in his various roles. We wish him all the best in his future endeavours.