AOL’s Would-Be CTO Takes A Step Back – And Everyone Thinks He’s On His Way Out

Huffington Post CTO Paul Berry

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When AOL bought the Huffington Post for $315 million, it bought a brand, a big staff, a lot of traffic and a technical whiz named Paul Berry.Just after the aquisition, the buzz was that Berry would soon be AOL’s CTO.

Now Berry is stepping back from his day-to-day work at AOL/Huffington Post, Forbes’s Jeff Bercovici reports.

The official line is that he’s going to work on more “strategic” issues.

The whispers are that Berry will soon quit AOL for a startup. Maybe he’ll join his best friend Jonah Peretti at his startup, BuzzFeed. Peretti is a Huffington Post cofounder.

After AOL bought Huffington Post, Peretti tweeted tweeted: “Paul Berry @teamreboot is the best CTO in the media business. I’m in awe of what he’s doing at HuffPost!”

Losing Berry would be a big loss for AOL.

Just after the aquisition, one former HuffPo staffer told us that during his tenure at the company, “I totally got the impression [Berry] was the genius”

“What the [Huffington Post] does well is technical stuff. Editorially it doesn’t have any direction. [Berry] and [departed HuffPo cofounder Jonah] Peretti just totally understand how to present content.”

Huffington Post CTO Paul Berry's Resume

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“Anything tech related there happens so quickly.”Berry is also well-regarded in the industry.

Shortly after AOL announced it bought Huffington Post, Twitter and Google’s developer relations bosses fired off tweets congratulating Berry on the news.

The gossip is that Tina Brown tried to poach Berry a couple years back to run the technical side of The Daily Beast.

So what’s this Berry guy like?

Our former staffer says Berry is a “really loud,” leader who “gives talks to the entire office quite often.”

According to one source, he “pushes around the editorial operation.”

He is “extremely strong-willed, very ambitious.”

He is “very shoot first.”

He’s a “hacker” not a “waterfall engineer.”

“He’s the most powerful person at HuffPo besides Arianna.”

Related: The AOL Way >>