Peter Kafka

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More AOL Tech Moves: HuffPo Tech Head Tim Dierks Out After Five Months

iStockphoto | DNY59

Yet more change at embattled AOL: Tim Dierks, the top engineer at its Huffington Post Media Group unit, is out, less than six months after he joined the company. AOL tech SVP Michael Manos will replace him, at least temporarily.

Dierks left Google to work for Tim Armstrong and Arianna Huffington back in September. He was first hired as Huffpo’s senior vice president of engineering and eventually replaced chief technology officer Paul Berry, who had helped Huffington build the site and left in February, a year after she sold the company to Armstrong.

As Kara Swisher reported earlier today, AOL CTO Alex Gounares is also leaving. The moves are indeed connected, says an AOL executive, since Dierks was Gounares’s hire.

Dierks’s position was a key one for Huffington, since her site thrived in large part because of its embrace of technology; part of the logic of the $315 million AOL/Huffpo deal was that she could inject that DNA into the company that acquired her.

Gounares and Huffington informed some AOL staff of Dierks’s departure during a conference call this afternoon. I’ve asked AOL PR for comment.

Update: Whole lot of shuffling going on at AOL today. TechCrunch editor Erick Schonfeld is out, too, replaced by recent hire Eric Eldon.

Image: iStockphoto | DNY59

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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