Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Yet Another Googler to AOL: Sales Exec John Burke

You’d think that nearly two years after Tim Armstrong jumped from Google to AOL, he’d be done bringing former coworkers to his new gig. But you’d be wrong!

The latest exec to leave the Googleplex for AOL* is John Burke, who is now SVP of “Global Sales Strategy,” reporting to sales head Jeff Levick, who was Armstrong’s first major hire (from Google, of course).

Burke is a longtime Googler–he arrived pre-IPO, in 2002–who started off running the technology “vertical” for its sales team and eventually oversaw 10 more industry categories by the time he left. Last title: “Managing Director, Industry Development and Marketing.”

AOL provided me with this quote from Levick when I asked them about the hire:

“We are thrilled that John Burke has joined AOL as SVP, Global Sales Strategy, responsible for sales development, industry outreach and marketing. He will be focused on ensuring AOL brings unique insights and a customer driven approach to our partners. This is another step forward in creating the smartest, most sophisticated partner and customer driven organization in the advertising business.”

* Which needs a snappy name for its New York HQ. “The building above the KMart, which used to house MTV digital a long time ago” doesn’t work.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik