AOL's Executive Shuffle: Levick Exits, Brody To CRO


Two weeks ahead of second-quarter earnings, AOL is undergoing another executive shakeup, the biggest fish to fry being Jeff Levick, head of global ad sales.

In his place, Ned Brody is being promoted to the new position of chief revenue officer and president of AOL Advertising, where he will oversee the company's global owned-and-operated advertising, global network business, sales and advertising and publishing products.

The changes -- outlined in a staff memo issued Monday by CEO Tim Armstrong -- are part of a continued effort by AOL to court advertisers and appease investors.

Regarding the company ad strategy, Armstrong said Monday that he has three key goals going forward. "The first is a unified premium strategy for advertisers and publishers," he said. "The second is consistent growth in advertising spend across all our properties and networks. The third is a more rigorous approach to advertising and publishing system design."



Armstrong said this approach will help AOL to connect Project Devil and its premium brand formats to its O&O properties, as well as its network.

In addition, AOL announced expanded leadership roles for five sales executives, including Tim Castelli, Wendy MacGregor, Tim Richards and Jim Norton -- all of whom are being promoted to senior vice president -- and Michael O'Connor, who is being promoted to vice president, head of sales and operations.

These executives -- along with Don Kennedy, senior vice president of sales, and Chris Heine, senior vice president of advertising operations -- are expected to form AOL's sales leadership team going forward.

Meanwhile, Lauren Hurvitz, who came on last year to replace AOL communication head Trish Primrose-Wallace, is also out, along with human resources executive Kathy Andreasen.

Earlier this year, on the heels of its Huffington Post acquisition, AOL announced plans to fire about 200 U.S. employees, around 120 of whom are editorial staffers. The remaining cuts were expected to impact other areas of AOL's media business, including its technology and product units.

The layoffs were largely perceived to be an effort to eliminate redundancies created by merging The Huffington Post with AOL's content properties. First announced in early February, AOL officially closed its $315 acquisition of HuffPo in March.

Meanwhile, AOL's first-quarter earnings actually beat expectations on sales, and delivered good news on display advertising. Indeed, global display revenue grew for the first time since the fourth quarter of 2007, according to AOL, while the company's overall revenue continued to shrink.

The most recent earnings led a renewed sense of confidence at the company. "We are not watching trends in the advertising business, we are creating them," Armstrong added on Monday.

Next story loading loading..