"Specifically, Joe will be charged with building on the success of ABC News Digital and charting a bold course to greater impact, reach and revenue," ABC News President Ben Sherwood said in an internal meme released Tuesday.
Ruffolo comes from AOL, where he most recently served as vice president and headed current programming. He also recently managed home page operations and supervised various video series.
Ruffolo will be replacing Paul Slavin, who Sherwood said last week would soon be leaving the company. Slavin served as SVP of ABC News' digital head since 2007.
Sherwood, who only joined ABC News as president late last year, said of Slavin: "In 2007, Paul took on a new challenge, steering our new media operations to profitability and driving even greater usage and engagement for all of our digital properties."
During Slavin's tenure, ABCNews.com grew from 14th to the seventh-most-viewed news site, according to Sherwood. Slavin is also credited with forging partnerships with Facebook and Yahoo.
Slavin, who is expected to stay on through "a transitional period," has been with ABC since the late 1970s, during which time he covered conflicts in Nicaragua and El Salvador.
Prior to AOL, from 1996 to 1998, Ruffolo worked on a team that helped build CNN Interactive in Atlanta.