Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

AOL's Longtime PR Head, Primrose, Steps Down

Tricia Primrose (pictured here), AOL’s long-serving communications head, is stepping down from her job, according to a memo sent out by CEO Tim Armstrong to staff.

The move is personal, related to her family, according to the memo (which you can see below).

Except for BoomTown’s record run, Primrose is unusual in the length of her tenure and number of AOL (AOL) exec administrations she has survived, including Steve Case and Bob Pittman, Jon Miller, Randy Falco and Ron Grant and now, Armstrong.

To say nothing of the myriad of changes and controversies at the long-suffering Internet icon, such as its disastrous merger with Time Warner (TWX).

And those have recently included its spinoff from the media giant and its 25th anniversary celebration.

That deserves some kind of medal!

And I, for one, will miss her and her consummate professionalism throughout some decidedly dicey times. Being both loyal to AOL and honest about tough situations is no easy task, but Primrose always managed to do it unflappably and with class.

Since Armstrong took over, though, most of the company’s most recent senior management team has turned over, with Primrose being one of the last to go.

Primrose will be staying until a replacement is found and will be part of the selection process, according to the staff email.

Here is Armstrong’s internal memo:

AOLers–

As we discussed in our all hands meeting two weeks ago, our Company is about people and our brands are a reflection of the people who work on them. There is one person that has worked tirelessly toward communicating both internally and externally about the progress and challenges we have faced as a business and a team–Trish Primrose. Trish has been with AOL for over 13 years and has been at the eye of the storm of one of the most well-known brands, in one of the most well-known industries.

I wanted to let you know that Trish will be stepping down as the Head of Corporate Communications for AOL and transitioning into an advisory role at the Company which will allow her to spend more time with her family. Trish has been an exemplary executive in her role and she has become a good friend in the process which is why I understand this change makes total sense for her. As many of you know, since returning home to Virginia in December last year Trish has been commuting, spending part of every week in the NY office–a schedule that has required her to sacrifice a lot of time away from her husband, Doug and daughter, Callie. People who know Trish well know that while she is the ultimate perfectionist at work, the thing she is proudest of is her family.

Trish will leave the role having completed one of the most important events and stepping stones in the history of the Company–AOL’s re-emergence as a stand-alone public company. Trish played one of the key positions in that transition and she has built a team that has bridged the past with the future. Trish’s most recent efforts culminated in AOL’s 25th Anniversary celebration which was a success that won’t be forgotten and is a highlight for all of us. Trish and her team will continue to be instrumental in our success. We will be opening an external and internal search for a successor.

We’re grateful that we’ll be able to tap Trish’s experience in ensuring that the Company doesn’t miss a beat during this period. And while we’re thrilled she will be continuing with us in an advisory role, please join me in thanking Trish for her efforts on behalf of AOL. –TA


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There’s a lot of attention and PR around Marissa, but their product lineup just kind of blows.

— Om Malik on Bloomberg TV, talking about Yahoo, the September issue of Vogue Magazine, and our overdependence on Google