AOL has hired Dermot McCormack to be president of “video and studios.”
The guy who used to have the job, Ran Harnevo, “has left to pursue other opportunities,” says AOL. He’d been there four years — since AOL acquired his startup, 5min.
McCormack is walking into a tough job.
Among other responsibilities, he’s in charge of original programming at AOL.
Did you know AOL has produced 50 original video series since 2011?
Can you name any of them?
McCormack’s job is to have you answering “yes” and “yes.”
McCormack will also be in charge of products called AOL On and BE On.
AOL On calls itself “the web’s largest curated library of premium video.” It looks a little bit like Hulu or YouTube.
Be On is “an end-to-end video platform for brands that creates, syndicates and measures premium content and campaigns globally.”
McCormack is an important to hire for AOL CEO Tim Armstrong to get right. One reason people think he has AOL on the turnaround path is that AOL controls a massive amount of video ad inventory online. The company brags that it is in the top three, after Google/YouTube and Facebook. All that inventory is the main reason it would actually make sense for Yahoo to buy AOL.
Right now, that inventory is huge thanks to AOL’s still massive distribution capabilities — capabilities which will soon expand, thanks to a deal in which AOL distributes video to MSN.
Eventually, that distribution will dwindle if McCormack can’t improve the quality of AOL’s video content.
So who is Dermot McCormack?
Here’s his LinkedIn profile:
Here he is being interviewed on This Week in Startups.
At the start of the video, McCormack, who moved to the US from his native Ireland 20+ years ago, demonstrates the proper way to pour a Guinness.