AOL Taps Kadlec To Grow AOL's Content, Platforms

Ready to reach a bigger global audience, AOL on Wednesday is expected to name Kim Kadlec as head of relationship management.

In this newly created role, Kadlec will be expected to build distribution partnerships and grow the global reach of AOL’s content and platforms.

“At least in the short term, I will be identifying a key number of global partners, and looking at ways of getting content expended on a global scale,” Kadlec said on Tuesday.

To increase AOL’s footprint, all media channels are in play, including broadcast television, cable and mobile, Kadlec said. AOL’s distribution ambitions are clearly bigger than the Web, as was illustrated by its recent partnership with set-top-box startup Roku.

Kadlec joins AOL from Johnson & Johnson, where she most recently served as worldwide vice president of the company’s Global Marketing Group.

Expected to begin work in May, Kadlec will be based in New York and report to AOL head Tim Armstrong and Susan Lyne, CEO of AOL’s Brand Group.

More than anything else, what attracted Kadlec to AOL were the people, she said on Tuesday. “They're great inspirational leaders.”  In particular, “I am very intrigued with Tim’s vision … certainly around content,” Kadlec said regarding Armstrong.

Thinking big, AOL just unveiled plans for its first long-form video series, Connected. For the effort, AOL hired Israeli-based production firm Koda Communications to bring the reality-television-like franchise to New York. 

Expected to debut later this year, AOL hopes to achieve broad distribution with Connected, Tal Simantov, vice president of global video strategy at AOL, said earlier this week.

AOL also recently launched its on-demand video platform, AOL On, in the UK with a long list of partners, including Channel 4 News, ITN, Trinity Mirror, TalkTalk and Telegraph Media Group, as well as existing partners like E! Entertainment Discovery, NBC Universal, IGN and TMZ.

With J&J for the past eight years, Kadlec previously served as vice president of branded entertainment at NBC Universal. At NBCU, she is credited with launching the company’s first division dedicated to integrating brand storytelling into TV programming.

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