Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Time for AOLers to Meet Their New Sales Boss, Again


Kara Swisher broke the story last night, but for the record, here’s the AOL press release announcing the Time Warner unit’s umpteenth new sales boss. Meet Jeff Levick, a Google (GOOG) vet who replaces Yahoo (YHOO) vet Greg Coleman, who just started in February.

Coleman’s departure won’t come as a shock to many online ad executives, who were predicting he’d leave as soon as AOL CEO Tim Armstrong started on April 7, if not sooner.

Then again, Armstrong never asked Coleman to slow down or reconsider the reorg of the sales group that he’d been undertaking on his own. Now it’s unclear whether he wants his former colleague to follow Coleman’s lead or blow every thing up yet again.

Presumably this will all be cleared up before Time Warner (TWX) spins off the Internet company.


New York, NY – April 30, 2009 – AOL announced that Jeff Levick will join the company as President, Global Advertising and Strategy. In this new and expanded role, Levick will be responsible for Platform-A, AOL’s advertising business, as well as developing global revenue strategies. Levick comes to AOL from Google, where he was most recently VP of Industry Development and Marketing, The Americas. He will report directly to AOL Chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong.

“Our goal at AOL is to create great content and products, as well as make our advertising offerings the best in the industry for marketers and we are putting together the strategy to achieve that. I’m delighted that Jeff will be coming on board to lead this effort,” Armstrong said. “I’ve worked with Jeff for more than seven years at Google, and he is absolutely the right person to drive growth in our premium ad sales, dramatically scale our business, and further develop AOL’s research initiatives and consumer insights.”

“This is a perfect time to join AOL and I firmly believe that AOL’s best days are ahead of it,” said Levick. “The company has one of the largest and most engaged audiences on the Web, some of the best advertising technology in the business, and a powerful third-party network. There is great opportunity here for us to capture.”

As a result of this change, Greg Coleman will be leaving Platform-A, where he has served as President since early February 2009.

“In only a short time, Greg made a strong imprint on Platform-A’s sales organization – reorganizing and refocusing the team,” said Armstrong. “I appreciate his efforts and know that they will contribute to the work that lies ahead with Platform-A.”

Levick will officially join AOL in the coming weeks. At Google, Levick was responsible for business marketing activities for the Americas as well as sales development and strategy for all of the vertical industries covered by Google’s Americas sales organization. Levick joined Google in 2001 and has held various executive management positions in the company’s advertising sales organization in both North America and Europe.

Prior to joining Google, Levick served as a corporate attorney with a specialty in mergers and acquisitions at the international law firm of Katten Muchin Rosenman, and held roles at various online ventures in Chicago. He currently serves on the board of directors of, the advisory board of the College of Communications at DePaul University and as an advisory board member of the global trade organization Search Engine Strategies (SES). Levick holds a J.D. from DePaul University and a bachelor’s degree from New York University, where he graduated cum laude.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald