AOL's senior sales figure Jeff Levick is leaving the company following global changes to its management and advertising business structure. Levick was one of CEO Tim Armstrong's key hires following his appointment to the role in 2009. Prior to their two-year stint together at AOL, the pair had worked closely at Google.
In a memo sent to AOL employees today, Armstrong detailed a number of changes to the firm's ad business organization. Ned Brody - who formerly reported to Levick as president of the Advertising.com Group - will be promoted to the newly created position of chief revenue officer and president of AOL Advertising, responsible for overseeing all of the company's global ad businesses, including its owned and operated network products.
Armstrong wrote, "There are three goals we are hoping to accomplish with Ned in this new position. The first is a unified premium strategy for advertisers and publishers. The second is consistent growth in advertising spend across all our properties and networks. The third is a more rigorous approach to advertising and publishing system design."
In addition to Brody's new role, four AOL staffers are being promoted to senior VP of sales - Tim Castelli, Wendy MacGregor, Tim Richards, and Jim Norton. Meanwhile, Michael O'Connor will be promoted to VP, head of sales operations.
Regarding Levick specifically, Armstrong stated, "Jeff undertook one of the toughest jobs in the Internet space when he joined AOL," and said he helped lead a "shift in perception and quality of the AOL advertising experience." The extensive reorganization of its ad business suggests that shift wasn't dramatic enough, however.
In an emailed statement to ClickZ, an AOL spokesperson said, "Today's move simplifies our structure and better positions the company to deliver on our growth strategies. We have stabilized the foundation of the company over the past year and are now fully focused on executing on our core goals - leading in digital content, including mobile and video, and leading in brand advertising."
In his note to staff, Armstrong, added, "The future for AOL is getting brighter and we are on the path of returning AOL to growth."
Outside of its ad business, AOL also made structural changes to its general management structure, with Chris Grosso, Brian Kaminsky, Kerry Trainor, Jay Kirsch, and Heather Harde reporting directly to Armstrong, and overseeing the company's AOL.com, Huffington Post, Entertainment, Marketplace, and Technology properties, respectively.
The company also said it plans to consolidate its own marketing functions and the corporate communications team into a single organization, led by Maureen Sullivan, VP of corporate communications and marketing.
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March 19, 2014