AOL Names Branding Exec

In its continued efforts to overhaul its marketing leadership team, AOL brings in another new executive.

The struggling Internet unit of AOL Time Warner announced Thursday the appointment of Leonard Short, a former executive in charge of advertising at Charles Schwab, as executive vice president for branding. He will head up AOL’s U.S. and international branding efforts, reporting to AOL’s president of marketing, Joe Redling.

At Schwab, Short led the company’s business development marketing, brand development and advertising, which included the launch of the Schwab.com site that helped catapult it to the top of the online broker heap despite the dramatically changed environment caused by the stock market downturn.

“Len Short is a very talented and innovative marketer who brings to AOL years of experience building and maintaining excellent brands,” Redling said.

Short will have his work cut out for him. AOL has said it expects its advertising revenue to halve next year, after declining 40 percent this year. On orders from its parent company, AOL’s chief, Jonathan Miller, re-jiggered the company’s strategy in December, focusing it more on wringing revenue from its subscribers than on advertising, after shaking up its management team in September.

Since then, the company has brought in a clutch of new marketing executives, including naming Michael Kelly as head of global marketing.

Before joining Schwab, Short held worked in the advertising industry as an executive at direct marketer Worldwide 1 on 1, where he created MCI’s Friends and Family program.

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