Big Re-Org In AOL Tech Accompanies Layoff

Huffington Post CTO Paul BerryHuffington Post tech boss Paul Berry

Photo: Huffington Post

No one talks about it (in part, we hear, because Arianna doesn’t want them to), but a huge part of the Huffington Post’s success has been its creative uses of technology to promote and distribute its content.No one integrates social networks like Twitter and Facebook better.

So it makes sense, then, that as AOL goes through a 20% layoff today, the big tech operation that supports AOL’s media properties is also going through a big re-organisation thanks to the $315 million acquisition.

We’ve heard about this re-org from a couple good sources.

The biggest winner in particular is Huffington Post CTO Paul Berry, viewed as “a star” inside the company, a source close to AOL tells us. He will run tech for AOL Media, – now called The Huffington Post Media Group.

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.”
  • “very shoot first.”
  • A “hacker” not a “waterfall engineer.”
  • “The most powerful person at HuffPo besides Arianna.”

One former HuffPo staffer tells us that during his tenure at the company he “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.”

It’s pure speculation, but we’d bet the elevation of Berry means that AOL will eventually try to buy BuzzFeed, the startup founded by his best friend, Huffington Post cofounder Jonah Peretti.

UPDATE: Jonah Peretti tweets: “Very sloppy reporting! Paul Berry is my good friend, not my bestest friend.”

Related: THE GORY DETAILS: Tim Armstrong’s Layoffs Memo

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