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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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work