AOL (TWX) has fired EVP and Platform A President Curt Viebranz after only five months, a source says. Curt joined AOL in last fall’s Tacoda acquisition and was promoted to run Platform A.
AOL also named Lynda Clarizio the new head of Platform A. Lynda was president of Advertising.com, which has been AOL’s most successful business in recent years.
What went wrong? What does this mean for Platform A and AOL’s new ad network strategy? What does it mean for the never-ending executive turnover at AOL? For the behavioural targeting strategy?
UPDATE: We spoke with several sources close to the company and now have a better sense of why Curt was fired, the status of the Yahoo negotiations, and how AOL is doing.
Below, Curt’s bio from an upcoming conference in April that he presumably won’t be attending:
Curtis G. Viebranz
AOL EVP and President, Platform A
As AOL EVP and President of Platform A, Curt Viebranz oversees AOL’s industry-leading advertising network, which reaches more than 90% of online consumers and offers advertisers access to the industry’s most sophisticated tools and targeting technologies.
Prior to this, Viebranz was Chief Executive Officer of TACODA, Inc., the behavioural targeting company AOL acquired in August 2007. He joined TACODA as President & Chief Operating Officer in April 2004 after serving for three years as a Board member.
A seasoned media executive with substantial print, TV and online experience in both the U.S. and abroad, Viebranz spent 17 years at Time Warner and its predecessor company, Time Inc. During that time, Mr. Viebranz held numerous senior management positions with operating responsibility for major business units within Time Warner. He was President of HBO International, the international arm of Time Warner’s Home Box Office unit. Previously, he was the first president of Time Inc. Multimedia, the new media division of Time Inc., Time Warner’s book and magazine publishing subsidiary. He also served as President of Time Inc. Europe and President of HBO Video, the home video distribution unit of Home Box Office.
He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and also serves on the Board of the Boys and Girls’ Clubs of Newark.
Mr. Viebranz holds a BA from Middlebury College and an MBA from Harvard University. He and his wife, Cissy, have three children.