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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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