Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Another AOL Shuffle, This Time in Ad Sales

Another org chart shuffle at AOL following its $315 million acquisition of the Huffington Post. This one is in sales, where North American ad chief Mark Ellis is out, and several of his deputies will be elevated.

This comes on the heels of last week’s roster change, which saw media boss David Eun leave. And there will likely be more changes once the Huffington Post acquisition actually closes this spring.

Ad boss Jeff Levick–who was CEO Tim Armstrong’s first major hire after coming aboard from Google in 2009–walks the company through the changes in a memo, which you can read below.

Team–

One year ago this week, we decided to innovate the future of brand advertising for the digital world. Last night, our work was recognized by the industry in a meaningful and significant way. The race is on for the next phase of advertising on the Internet and we are in that race. We have more to do, but we’re going to do it and do it quickly.

Today, we also wanted to announce a set of changes that will allow us to expand and accelerate our ability to serve our customers on a deeper level. We now have a great suite of products to match our talented team. We also have an expanding base of consumers on some of the best brands on the Internet and that represents a very attractive proposition for our customers. The addition of The Huffington Post adds an incredibly talented team of sales people and journalists to our team and we have the ability to scale all aspects of our business.

I’m very happy to announce that over the next 90 days, we will be integrating The Huffington Post sellers into our regional teams and expanding the roles of three of our star field generals–Tim Richards, Wendy McGregor, and Tim Castelli. Wendy, Tim, and Tim will lead the sales for AOL and Huffington Post Media Group and report directly to me, moving them into a more central role in AOL’s revenue strategies and management.

Jim Norton will continue to lead the Advance Sales team but will also be taking on a new role as the VP of Product Sales, reporting into me. In this role, he will help realize the potential with Mail, AIM, Local, AOL.com and other core product solutions for National and Advance advertisers, serving as a critical ‘linchpin’ that connects our advertiser opportunities with AOL solutions. Christa Zambardino will continue to lead sales efforts for AOL.com and will report to Jim.

Don Kennedy will also report directly to me, taking our focus on the network to new levels and will continue to build out our Network Sales organization, working in close partnership with Dave Jacobs and Rob Luenberger.

Finally, Mark Ellis will be leaving the organization. I can’t thank Mark enough for all he has done for AOL and for the teams during his time here. He has been a great partner to me and I wish him all the best in his future endeavors.

We will continue to keep you updated on the status of the Huffington Post deal as well as any other organizational announcements. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions.

Best,

Jeff


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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