AOL has cut at least four more key Tacoda execs from its roster in the past few weeks, following departures of the behavioral targeting firm's founder and its former chief in recent months. Gone are President Daniel Jaye, former Tacoda CFO Mark Pinney, SVP Advertising Sales Matt Arkin and SVP Marketing and Business Development Larry Allen. The firings come amidst reports that AOL will lay off about 100 staffers from its Platform A ad unit by the end of the month.
According to sources familiar with the situation, Arkin, Allen, and Pinney were laid off. It's unclear, however, whether Jaye chose to leave or was given the heave-ho.
Since AOL unveiled its plans to combine several recently acquired ad technology properties under the new Platform A umbrella in September, Tacoda has slowly become a shell of its former self. Dave Morgan, the company's founder, left AOL in February. Most recently AOL's EVP of global advertising strategy, the serial entrepreneur intends to develop another startup company.
In March, ex-Tacoda CEO Curt Viebranz, who was made head of Platform A at its creation last year, was kicked out.
Now, according to sources familiar with the situation, Jaye, Arkin, Allen, and Pinney have also left the company. Jaye joined Tacoda in April 2007, and replaced Viebranz as president and CEO in September after Viebranz was chosen to lead the Platform A division. Both Jaye and Morgan were still listed on the "Executive Team" page of Tacoda's Web site as of Friday.
Pinney, who co-founded ad network Real Media with Morgan, became Tacoda's CFO in 2004 and was named head of business planning for Platform A in October 2007. Arkin came on board as Tacoda's SVP Ad Sales in 2005, and Allen was hired as Tacoda's SVP marketing and business development in 2006.
Some sources chalk up the Tacoda executive cuts to politics. It has been rumored and reported that Lynda Clarizio, Viebranz's replacement and former Advertising.com president, didn't support AOL's acquisition of Tacoda. Advertising.com, AOL's giant ad network, had its own behavioral targeting capabilities before the Tacoda purchase in July 2007.
The Platform A unit includes Tacoda, mobile ad network Third Screen Media, contextual text ad network Quigo, ad management firm AdTech, and affiliate marketing firm Buy.at.
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Kate Kaye was Managing Editor at ClickZ News until October 2012. As a daily reporter and editor for the original news source, she covered beats including digital political campaigns and government regulation of the online ad industry. Kate is the author of Campaign '08: A Turning Point for Digital Media, the only book focused on the paid digital media efforts of the 2008 presidential campaigns. Kate created ClickZ's Politics & Advocacy section, and is the primary contributor to the one-of-a-kind section. She began reporting on the interactive ad industry in 1999 and has spoken at several events and in interviews for television, radio, print, and digital media outlets. You can follow Kate on Twitter at @LowbrowKate.
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