AOL Ad Chief Is “New Face”

Ad executives are puzzled by AOL Inc. Chief Executive Tim Armstrong’s new pick for ad chief, Ned Brody, and say the relatively unknown executive has his work cut out for him as he tries to drive sales and recharge AOL’s brand.

Mr. Armstrong announced last week that Mr. Brody would replace Jeff Levick as president of AOL advertising and will become chief revenue officer, too. Mr. Brody previously oversaw AOL’s advertising and publishing technologies, a role in which he rarely met with major advertisers. The move was part of a broader shake-up at the company, which has been struggling to grow its ad business for years.

Many senior digital-ad executives said they hadn’t heard Mr. Brody’s name until last week. “I didn’t know him at all. He’s a new face,” said Quentin George, chief digital officer at Interpublic Group of Cos. media-buying unit Mediabrands.

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