Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Think You Can Help AOL Keep Hackers at Bay? Here's the Job for You.

Think you’ve got what it takes to protect the likes of Arianna Huffington, Michael Arrington and millions of AOL Instant Messenger users from hackers and other digital troublemakers? Can you both handle the new “AOL Culture” and take “dramatic, symbolic actions” that “inspire and energize others”? If you can, and if you also have more than 10 years of experience in the IT security industry, a degree in computer science plus an MBA, and if you don’t mind living in Dulles, Va., then we have the job for you. At AOL.

The company is looking for a new vice president of IT security who will report directly to CIO Bill McGrath. A source who obtained a copy of the eight-page job description being circulated by executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles was kind enough to send it along to me.

AOL is of course on an acquisitive tear, adding new properties all the time, and thus making the job of a new head of security ever more complex. It recently spent $315 million to acquire The Huffington Post and five months ago acquired TechCrunch.

The document below doesn’t mention compensation, but my source was told the pay range is in the mid-200s. It’s been awhile since AOL itself has been the target of a security breach, at least of the kind that makes headlines. Of course there was today’s distributed denial of service attack against which apparently affected Techcrunch for some time today. If you think you’re the one who’s up to the task, the job description is below. Enjoy.


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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