Widget maker KickApps on Thursday named former AOL VP Grant Cerny as its new SVP of Product Marketing. Ironically, AOL was rumored to be courting KickApps for a reported $90 million in mid-2008.
After over 5 years at AOL, Cerny left his position as VP of Entertainment, Living & Real-time Products last month.
"I am as bullish for AOL as ever," Cerny said in a blog post. "AOL's leadership and strategy is strong, and as a leaner, now-public company, I believe AOL will thrive."
Yet, AOL has recently been shedding employees faster than usual. Last week, AOL issued pink slips to about 1,400 employees, just weeks after about 1,100 of their peers "volunteered" to leave the company as part of AOL's "Voluntary Separation Program."
That same week, Shashi Seth -- its SVP of global ad products for just 90 days -- jumped ship for Yahoo. Seth attributed his decision to personal issues. In October, meanwhile, David Liu, AOL's SVP of global messaging, left to explore unspecified opportunities.
KickApps makes "white-label" widgets for companies and helps monetize them. The Web software maker has raised $32 million in three rounds of venture capital financing, most recently in November 2008.
Calling such social software the "next big thing," Cerny said he has built a relationship with KickApps CEO Alex Blum and SVP of Product Management Mike Sommers over the past few years, "to try to find the right cocktail of KickApps with AOL."
"KickApps," according to Cerny, "is positioned with the platform and the capabilities to superserve all Web publishers including enterprise to entry-level brand marketers, small business owners, individuals and communities of all varieties, with all of the core publishing, social, and media capabilities needed, with no need for an IT staff to stand it up."