AOL CEO Tim Armstrong just re-organised the sales force – again.
The big news is that ad sales boss Jeff Levick is out.
Ned Brody will be his replacement.
In a memo, Armstrong says Brody will “oversee AOL’s global O&O advertising, global network business, sales, and advertising and publishing products.”
Armstrong names three goals for the new boss:
“The first is a unified premium strategy for advertisers and publishers. The second is consistent growth in advertising spend across all our properties and networks. The third is a more rigorous approach to advertising and publishing system design. This will allow us to connect Project Devil and our Premium Brand Formats to the O&O properties as well as the network.”
Ad sales execs Tim Castelli, Wendy MacGregor, Tim Richards, and Jim Norton were also promoted today – each to SVP. Michael O’Connor is now a vice president.
AOL CFO Artie Minson is going to focus less on operations stuff like HR and communications, and knuckle down on paid services and the Google search relationship. Armstrong will take on some of the operations duties.
Here’s all the news in a memo:
From: Armstrong, Tim <REDACTED>
Date: Mon, Jul 25, 2011 at 11:12 AM
Subject: Important Changes at AOL
To: All AOLers <REDACTED>
As we continue the comeback of AOL we are focused on growth. We have a few announcements today that will make the company simpler, faster and stronger. Our strategy remains clear and consistent and our execution and operational clarity have improved. We have stabilised the foundation of the company and our future is about executing our growth strategies focused on:
1. Leading the digital content space
2. Leading the brand advertising space
3. Leading the premium video platform space
4. Leading the local content and advertising space
5. Leading the online membership services space
As we have focused our growth in this simplified product portfolio, we are now combining our advertising sales organisation with our advertising network and products organisation. We are not watching trends in the advertising business, we are creating them. Project Devil has traction and will help lead the brand space online. In the video space, we have gone from being out of the race to becoming one of the largest forces for digital video distribution.
The first announcement is a global structural change to our advertising business. We are promoting Ned Brody to the new position of Chief Revenue Officer and President of AOL Advertising. Ned will oversee AOL’s global O&O advertising, global network business, sales, and advertising and publishing products. There are three goals we are hoping to accomplish with Ned in this new position. The first is a unified premium strategy for advertisers and publishers. The second is consistent growth in advertising spend across all our properties and networks. The third is a more rigorous approach to advertising and publishing system design. This will allow us to connect Project Devil and our Premium Brand Formats to the O&O properties as well as the network.
In addition to our new CRO position, we are also announcing expanded leadership roles for five world-class leaders in our sales organisation. Tim Castelli, Wendy MacGregor, Tim Richards, and Jim Norton will be promoted to SVP and Michael O’Connor will be promoted to VP, Head of Sales Operations. These leaders along with Don Kennedy, SVP of Advertising.com Sales, and Chris Heine, SVP of Advertising Operations will form our sales leadership team and join Ned’s management team.
As a result of this global change, Jeff Levick will be leaving AOL after a six week transition period. Jeff undertook one of the toughest jobs in the Internet space when he joined AOL. In the past two years, he developed a world-class leadership team, led the industry toward the future of premium formats for brand advertising, and helped lead a game-changing shift in perception and quality of the AOL advertising experience. Jeff is a friend to many of us and we know we will see big things from him in his future career. We have been working closely together on the design of the sales structure and we both believe it will positively impact results for our team and our customers.
The second announcement we are making is a streamlined GM structure reporting directly to me, overseeing the connection between content and monetization. The GM organisation will allow us to profitably manage our investments in media and optimise the yield opportunities with traffic and revenue. We have already put the following GM leaders in place:
• AOL.com – Chris Grosso
• Huffington Post – Brian Kaminsky
• Entertainment – Kerry Trainor (e.g. Moviefone, AOL Music)
• Marketplace – Jay Kirsch (e.g., AOL Autos, Finance, and AOL Industry)
• Tech – Heather Harde (e.g., TechCrunch, Engadget)
Our third announcement is aimed at streamlining our corporate operations. Artie Minson, CFO of AOL and President of Paid Services, will now take on managing both our international planning and our Google search relationship, which is an important partnership on many levels. As part of Artie’s new responsibilities, he will be transitioning HR, Corporate Communications, and Marketing back to me.
We will be consolidating all marketing functions and the corporate communications team into a single organisation run by Maureen Sullivan. Lauren Hurvitz will transition out of AOL as part of the consolidation. Kathy Andreasen is also transitioning out of the company. Lauren and Kathy have been big champions for AOL and trusted members of the management team. Sandy Mott will assume the role of interim head of HR. We will also be opening up a search for a Global Head of HR.
The future for AOL is getting brighter and we are on the path of returning AOL to growth. I care about our team and our AOL brand, our consumers and customers, and our long-term outcome – the announcements today have this at the core.
We have very clear operating plans for the second half of the year as we reviewed on the all-hands call a few weeks ago and we review detailed updates every week, and in some cases daily. We won’t be hitting the pause button this week, we’ll be on fast-forward.
We have an unprecedented opportunity everyday to positively impact consumers’ lives and our customers’ businesses. Let’s go make it happen – TA