AOL Memo Details HuffPo Ad Sales Integration Plans

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AOL’s top regional U.S. ad sales execs will now lead all ad sales for AOL and the new Huffington Post Media Group. Today, AOL’s advertising division head Jeff Levick sent a memo to the firm’s ad division staff detailing key exec changes, and the departure of the AOL’s top North American sales exec, Mark Ellis.

“The race is on for the next phase of advertising on the Internet and we are in that race,” wrote Levick (pictured) in the memo, sent to ClickZ News by AOL. “We have more to do, but we’re going to do it and do it quickly.”

The Huffington Post’s ad sales staff will be integrated into AOL’s regional teams over the next 90 days. AOL acquired HuffPo earlier this month.

That melding will be led by execs Levick referred to as AOL Advertising’s “star field generals,” Tim Richards, VP sales for the Western U.S. region; Wendy McGregor, VP sales for the central region; and Tim Castelli VP sales for the eastern U.S. The changes, said Levick, will “move them into a more central role in AOL’s revenue strategies and management.” The three will report to Levick.

Another move aims to align products like Mail and the AOL.com site with new advertiser sales. Jim Norton, current VP of AOL’s Advance Sales team, which focuses on new advertisers and agency clients, will continue in that position, and also tack on the title of VP of product sales, reporting to Levick. “In this role, he will help realize the potential with Mail, AIM, Local, AOL.com and other core product solutions for National and Advance advertisers, serving as a critical ‘linchpin’ that connects our advertiser opportunities with AOL solutions,” stated Levick.

In addition, SVP Network Sales Don Kennedy will report to Levick, “taking our focus on the network to new levels and will continue to build out our Network Sales organization, working in close partnership with Dave Jacobs [SVP publisher services], and Rob Luenberger [SVP research and development].”

Levick also announced the departure of longtime AOL sales exec Mark Ellis, currently EVP North American sales. Ellis started with the firm as VP of the Detroit region in 2004.

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