With David Eun Departure, "The AOL Way" Makes Way for the Arianna Way

Despite all the polite throat-clearing in the various internal memos coming out of AOL today, with a rejiggering of its content management–including the ousting of Media and Studios President David Eun–what really happened was what sources said will be an about-face from a recent strategy of how to run its media business. That is likely to begin with the hip-checking of “The AOL Way,” which many sources tell BoomTown was Eun’s brainchild, once the $315 million acquisition of the Huffington Post is completed.

Yahoo's Jimmy Pitaro Lands Digital Co-President Job at Disney With Playdom's John Pleasants

Jimmy Pitaro, who is leaving his job running the powerful media properties at Yahoo, has taken a job as co-president of Disney Interactive Media Group, with John Pleasants. Pleasants was CEO of Playdom, the online game company that Disney acquired for $763 million in late July. The appointment of the pair, both of whom will report to Disney President and CEO Robert Iger, is a big move by the entertainment giant and looks like another attempt to clarify and bolster its Web strategy, which has had a long and often rocky history.

Gilt Groupe Returns Its CEO: Kevin Ryan, Susan Lyne Swap Places

Gilt Groupe, the earliest and best known of the U.S. “private sale” shopping sites, has a new boss: Founder Kevin Ryan, who previously served as the company’s chairman, is now running the company. Susan Lyne, brought in as CEO two years ago from Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, has been moved into Ryan’s old chairman slot.

What to Make of the Microsoft-Is-Falling-And-It-Can't-Get-Up Meme

Oh dear, here it comes round again, like a bout of the flu–the indefatigable narrative about how Microsoft is headed downhill at an alarming speed, how CEO Steve Ballmer is about to get the boot and how it is all really, really true since the echo chamber of tech keeps repeating it. But is the sky really falling?

Can Yahoo Still Nab Foursquare for $125 Million or Will VCs Prevail? The Race for the Hot Mobile Start-Up Nears Its End.

You have to give Yahoo an A for effort, if perhaps the ultimate grade in its ongoing quest to buy hot mobile social network Foursquare is an F. While Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley, who controls a large chunk of the shares of the start-up, has so far turned down several $100 million-plus offers from Yahoo, sources said the company’s newish head of mergers and acquisitions, Andrew Siegel, is back in New York today still trying to convince him to sell. So far, Foursquare appears to have developed a case of cold feet about marrying the Internet giant and seems more likely to opt for a large round of funding from venture firms.

Left at the Altar by AOL, Associated Content Hires Allen

Interested in buying Associated Content, which specializes in generating lots of low-cost, search-friendly content? The company isn’t technically for sale, and there’s no pitch book. But if you’ve got an offer, you can go ahead and contact Allen & Company, the media bankers that Associated Content hired late last year.

CTO Cahall Out–As AOL Buys a Video Platform Company for $36.5 Million and Opens NY Tech Center (Press Releases, Memos–Natch!)

While AOL denied a report last week suggesting that CTO Ted Cahall is leaving, he actually is, um, leaving. Oops! Perhaps to defocus from the CTO-is-not-leaving-oh-yes-he-is snafu, AOL also announced the acquisition of StudioNow, a video creation and distribution platform, as well as the opening of a new tech center in New York, helmed by Jeff Reynar.

Business as Usual Again for Google: Wall Street Expects Big Things

Hard times? Sure, for mere mortals. But at Google, things are back to normal: The company signaled months ago that it had made it through the recession without much problem. Wall Street has gotten the message. It expects serious numbers from the search giant when it hands in its earnings report card this afternoon.
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Yahoo Hires New M&A Head–But Whither Greg Mrva?

Yahoo has hired a new head of mergers and acquisitions–former General Electric M&A exec Andrew Siegel, who will now be VP of corporate development. Yahoo CFO Tim Morse dropped the news with no details about that title in an interview with The Wall Street Journal about the Silicon Valley Internet giant’s third-quarter earnings. One question apparently not answered was what exactly is the status of its current top M&A exec, Greg Mrva–who has had the title Siegel now has posted on his LinkedIn profile–as well as that of VP of mergers and acquisitions more recently.
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Google Still Shuffling Sales Force: “Self-Serve” Exec David Fischer Steps Aside

Five months after Google sales boss Tim Armstrong left for AOL, his old company is still reshaping its sales group. The latest move: David Fischer, who ran the company’s core self-serve ad business, is going on sabbatical later this month and will return to a different post. Newish sales boss Nikesh Arora says he hasn’t found a successor for Fischer and will step into his shoes in the meantime.
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Online Display Ads Headed for the Basement