Platform-A boss Lynda Clarizio is out at Time Warner’s (TWX) online division AOL. She’ll be replaced by former Yahoo ad boss Greg Coleman.
Online adveristing revenues at AOL dropped 18% between 2007 and 2008. Henry Blodget thinks this is in part due to Lynda’s decision to integrate AOL’s premium-ad and remnant-ad salesforces by firing many of AOL’s premium salespeople (a move Greg’s hiring would appear to reverse).
Lynda only started her stint at AOL in March 2008, but short tenures are common for AOL sales bosses. Lynda’s predecessor at the job, Curt Viebranz lasted only five months on the job. Greg will be AOL’s eighth advertising boss since 2001.
At Yahoo, Greg was responsible for Yahoo advertising sales worldwide. Before Yahoo, he worked for Reader’s Digest.
Greg left Yahoo during one of its many, many re-organisations in 2007.
Here’s AOL CEO Randy Falco’s memo, obtained by Kara Swisher:
Dear AOL colleague,
Today we are announcing a change in the leadership of Platform-A that will help us build on the unmatched reach of our advertising business and fully leverage the success of our MediaGlow and People Networks businesses.
Greg Coleman, a seasoned advertising sales and publishing executive and former EVP of global sales at Yahoo, has agreed to join us as President of Platform-A, replacing Lynda Clarizio.
Under Lynda’s leadership, we made great progress at Platform-A–consolidating and integrating seven companies; creating a unified organisation around sales, technology, operations & product management, technology sales, publisher services, R&D, international, marketing, strategic planning and network development; and expanding overseas. As a result of Lynda’s success in integrating the business, Platform-A today has the largest reach and most advanced suite of digital advertising technologies available anywhere. We all owe Lynda a debt of gratitude for her outstanding contributions to Platform-A.
Now, we have the opportunity to build on this foundation and expand premium branded display sales across our extensive and fast-growing MediaGlow programming network. And Greg, who has 25 years of media sales and publishing experience, is ideally suited to lead this effort.
During his nearly seven years at Yahoo, Greg led the company’s search and display ad sales teams. During that time, Yahoo’s ad revenues climbed tenfold–reaching more than $6 billion–with substantial ad growth in the U.S. as well as Europe, Asia and key emerging markets. For the past year, Greg has been CEO of NetSeer, a start-up focused on next generation search and ad targeting.
Greg understands that online brand building is the next frontier in digital advertising, and whoever can deliver marketers measurably improved branding online will be poised to lead over the long term. His great agency and C-level relationships will help us create breakthrough branding packages that leverage the strong success of MediaGlow and the upcoming developments at Bebo.
No doubt Greg is joining Platform-A at a difficult time. The deepening economic recession is affecting every corner of the economy, including our own. Yet, even in this volatile environment, online advertising remains the most productive, efficient and measurable way for advertisers to reach audiences that are dispersing across an increasingly fragmented media landscape. I’m confident that Greg has the background and expertise to deliver on the promise of Platform-A.
Please join me in welcoming Greg to the AOL family, and in thanking Lynda for her many contributions to Platform-A and wishing her all the best on her future endeavours.