Patch Media CEO Jon Brod will take charge of AOL Ventures, Kara Swisher reports.
AOL Ventures is AOL’s home for companies it would like to sell, such as social network Bebo, widgetmaker Userplane, and video search engine Truveo.
Jon came to AOL (TWX) when it acquired Patch Media for $10 million in May, but he really made his mark on AOL employees last week.
That’s when during a all-hands meeting — and apropos of nothing, says a source — Jon loosened up the crowd by telling that “until an embarrassingly old age,” he’d thought all dogs were male and all cats were female, and that when dogs and cats mated their offspring’s species was determined by its sex.
Kara Swisher broke the news of John’s appointment:
Now Brod will helm AOL Ventures, a new unit of AOL that Armstrong created as part of a larger new strategy to invest in new things, and he will manage a portfolio of some of its more difficult recent acquisitions.
That means Brod will be figuring out what to do with AOL’s pricey purchase of its Bebo social networking site, as well as the Truveo video search unit, widgetmaker Userplane.
Sources close to the situation said AOL is bullish on Truveo (even though the previous management at AOL was poised to sell it), thinks Userplane’s once-promising prospects have dwindled due to neglect and will likely seek to sell Bebo.
But Brod will also be charged with investing in start-ups and also incubating.
“The Ventures group is about fostering innovation around the globe,” said Brod, in an interview with me. “And we’re going to create the Internet’s most entrpreneurial-friendly environment in order to accomplish this.”
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