News Byte

Facebook Exec Joanna Shields Departs for Economic Role in London

Joanna Shields, Facebook’s VP and managing director of the social network’s operations in Europe, Middle East and Africa, has left the company to become CEO of Tech City Investment Organisation, a high-tech economic development group in London, the Telegraph reports. Prior to joining Facebook in 2010, as CEO of Bebo Shields assisted its sale to AOL. “Joanna has been a tremendous contributor to our EMEA organization and her leadership and passion will be missed,” a Facebook spokesperson told AllThingsD.

Facebook Wants Writers and Famous People to Promote Its New Subscribe Feature

Facebook will “imminently” launch a plugin for publishers and public figures to ask their readers to subscribe on Facebook directly from their own Web sites.

Bebo Not Worth a Pail of Spit to AOL? This Comes as a Shock to Exactly–Hmm–No One.

Almost from the minute former AOL head Randy Falco handed over a giant bag of cash to Joanna Shields, the awfully clever chief money charmer of once darling social networking site Bebo, it was clear it was not going to end well. Essentially, AOL–then a unit of Time Warner–had forked over $850 million to corner the market on teen girls in the United Kingdom. Of course, all those girls are now using Facebook.

Facebook Lands Former Bebo CEO (And ex-Googler) Joanna Shields

Facebook is beefing up its European sales team with a big name in social networking circles: It is adding former Bebo CEO Joanna Shields, who will runs sales and business development in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Former Bebo CEO and AOL Top Exec Shields and Shine's Murdoch to Form Interactive Content Start-Up

Former Bebo CEO Joanna Shields and Shine Group Chairman and CEO Elisabeth Murdoch have formed a content start-up to produce across media platforms, both online and offline, with a focus on social engagement, according to sources. The new venture, which does not have a name, is being financially backed by both Shine and Shields. Based in London, it will invest, develop and partner to create a variety of content offerings that also incorporate interactive and social networking elements.

Digital Management Musical Chairs: The Tooth-Free Edition

Longtime Yahoo exec Brad Garlinghouse’s appointment to a new job at AOL today is yet another sign of an interesting trend for those keeping score of the comings and goings of top Internet execs. As anyone who watches the digital space knows by now, this kind of management musical chairs is common and never-ending, although it seems more frantic than ever of late. In fact, borrowing a quote by IAC/InterActiveCorp chairman and CEO Barry Diller from an onstage interview I did with him at the sixth D: All Things Digital conference, and switching out Hollywood for Silicon Valley: “[It] is a community that’s so inbred, it’s a wonder the children have any teeth.”

AOL, Still Shaking Up Staff, Hires New CFO Artie Minson

Newish AOL CEO Tim Armstrong hasn’t gone on a massive firing binge. But he’s still shaking up the ranks at the Time Warner unit. Today, for instance, he is installing a new chief financial officer: Artie Minson, the deputy CFO at sister company Time Warner Cable. Minson replaces Nisha Kumar, who held the spot for two years.

Yahoo Poised to Name New International Head–After Five-Month Look-See at the Crowned Web Heads of Europe

Yahoo is closer to naming a new international head, according to sources, the last big slot left in the top management structure of CEO Carol Bartz. While BoomTown is endeavoring to get the name of this international man of mystery, the suspect list is long, since Yahoo’s headhunter for the job–Heidrick & Struggles–has pretty much talked to the gamut of international Web muckety-mucks since the search started six months ago. In a memo to Yahoo staff after her reorganization in February, Bartz said that “international growth is critical for Yahoo!, which has become too reliant on its U.S. business over the years.”

Tim Armstrong's 100-Day Vision Quest Nearing End: Party in Dulles! (And Then What?)

Back in April, Tim Armstrong sent a memo to the long-battered troops of AOL about a 100-day vision quest the new CEO and chairman was going on to find out “how to bring back the magic of AOL.” It is now Day 86, and Armstrong is closing in on the end of a Where’s-Waldo commitment that he made then to visit all of the far-flung offices of the Time Warner online unit globally to find out what’s what and what he should do to turn AOL around. BoomTown is eager to see what Armstrong has found out on his trip and what path it will ultimately put AOL on.

AOL Spinoff Approved Last Night by Time Warner Board: Here Are the Inside Details (Not in the Press Release)

While there were reports that the Time Warner board was meeting today to approve the spin-off of its AOL online unit, it actually gave the move an “enthusiastic endorsement” last night, according to sources. Time Warner just put out the press release about the move that would make AOL an “independent, publicly traded company.” But, several sources with knowledge of the situation said AOL CEO and Chairman Tim Armstrong is set to make massive changes to the structure of AOL, sweeping aside its current set-up almost completely. That includes keeping the access business, which many thought would be sold off and putting many of the companies it has recently acquired–including its pricey Bebo social networking site–in a separate ventures unit, which will try to attract outside investment.

AOL+Bebo=More Rich Web Entrepreneurs!

Bebo: By the (Not So Big) Numbers

Kara Visits DLD in Germany: EuroSchmoozing!