Peter Kafka

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Huffington Post Tech Boss Leaves AOL, For Real

Paul Berry, one of the key players in the Huffington Post’s rocket rise, is leaving AOL, the company that bought the aggregator/news site for $315 million.

Berry, who had been Huffpo’s chief technical officer, stepped back from day-to-day duties in November; at the time, the company said he’d be “working closely” with Arianna Huffington “on strategy and expansion priorities.”

Now Berry says he will be leaving in February — which happens to be a year after the AOL/Huffpo deal was announced. Berry will be working on Rebel Mouse, which he described to the New York Observer as a “social platform,” and will also work on a start-up incubator.

As the Observer notes, the move will reunite Berry with a good chunk of Huffpo’s senior team — co-founders Ken Lerer and Jonah Peretti, former CEO Eric Hippeau and former ad chief Greg Coleman. Most of that group left Huffpo as soon as the AOL deal closed.

Peretti, who now runs Buzzfeed, a son-of-Huffpo aggregator/news site with a flair for social media, credited Berry with much of Huffpo’s success, via a Twitter blessing:

[Shutterstock/Kutlayev Dmitry]

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus