Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

AOL’s Europe Head Kate Burns Departs; Goviral’s Maymann Takes Over (Internal Memo, Too!)

According to sources, AOL’s head of Europe Kate Burns has left the company and has been replaced by Goviral chairman and co-founder Jimmy Maymann.

Goviral is a unit of AOL’s Advertising.com and has been a bright spot in its ad business. Goviral’s CEO René Rechtman will now serve as the new head of the European Advertising.com Group.

Burns, who is SVP of sales and operations for AOL Europe, does not seem to have immediate plans and will stay at the company until the end of October.

Maymann reports to Ned Brody, who was recently named AOL’s sales head and Chief Revenue Officer.

According to an internal memo, he will head the Huffington Post owned-and-operated businesses for both Europe and Latin America. The Huffington Post unit has taken over all of AOL’s content businesses.

In related news, Peter Kafka reported earlier today that AOL’s music head had left the New York-based company for a start-up.

The change in Europe happened last week, the second international shift at a big U.S. Internet concern. Yesterday, I reported that Yahoo’s Latin America head left the company.

In fact, here is the memo from Brody, if you want go to town:

From: “Brody, Ned”
Date: Wed, 21 Sep 2011 09:40:03 -0400
To: AOL_Advertising, B2B, FriendsofAdvertising, B2B_Partners
Cc: AOLExecTeam
Subject: Organizational Update


As you know, one of our focus areas has been to re-emerge as a dynamic player outside of North America. As a part of this plan, we made the strategic decision two weeks ago to focus these sales and marketing efforts on our core global businesses: the Advertising.com Group and The Huffington Post. I’m excited about the plans we have to move these businesses forward.

To best support these changes, we’ve formalized an operational structure that we believe will set us on the path for even greater global growth. I’m excited to announce that René Rechtman will serve as the new head of the European Advertising.com Group business and Jimmy Maymann will lead the Huffington Post O&O business for Europe and Latin America. René and Jimmy will report directly to me.

René will lead our strategy of partnering with publishers and advertisers across Europe. We believe that his proven leadership and expanded focus on our publisher and advertising businesses will allow us to scale quickly. Advertising.com and goviral operate in over 10 countries in Europe and we have an opportunity to fulfill our mission of building the strength of quality publishers and the strength of Europe’s best brands.

To help meet the outpouring of demand in many countries for our brand and content, we will be moving our global content platforms back into Europe — having started with the UK — and opening opportunities in Latin America. Jimmy will lead our European and Latin America operations, pushing our content expansion opportunities. He is one of the most talented entrepreneurs in our organization and the right person to lead this forward.

Our strong leadership team will continue to support the execution of our strategy. Nimeshh Patel will continue his role as head of European operations and will report directly into Artie Minson. Sarah Gavin will continue to lead marketing and communications, reporting into Maureen Sullivan. Noel Penzer will now serve as VP, Europe and Latin America, reporting into Jimmy. Luke Aviet will take on a wider European remit in the Advertising.com group, focusing on internationalization and expansion, and will continue to report into René.

It’s important to note that our current progress could not have been achieved without tremendous leadership. At this point in our company’s development, Kate Burns has made a personal decision to leave AOL to spend more time with her family and personal pursuits. Two years ago, Kate came on board as the SVP of European Sales and CEO of the European operation to help turn the business around. In that short time, she has successfully refocused our efforts, established a strong leadership team and scaled the new business operational structure.

She and the team have done this well ahead of schedule and I’m particularly proud of this progress. Kate will remain on board until the end of October in an advisory capacity and to help with the transition. Please join me in wishing Kate well in her future endeavors.

We told the world AOL would return to the global stage and that’s exactly what we did and what we’re doing. We have a number of exciting launches in the works in the coming months as well as executing on our daily commitment to our consumers, advertisers and teams. I ask that you continue to stay focused on our goals and most important, celebrate the amazing accomplishments of our collective teams in advancing our global strategy.



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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