About.com Restructures, Names Kim COO

As part of a broader restructuring effort, About.com on Tuesday announced the appointment of Scott Kim as its new chief operating officer, as well as Alex Ellerson as senior vice president of content.

Kim joins About.com from sister unit Ask.com, where he held positions of chief strategy officer and chief technology officer. Kim also served as About.com’s interim chief executive officer prior to the appointment of Neil Vogel in April.

As COO, Kim will be expected to focus on About.com’s technology platforms, data and analytics, monetization, and overall strategy.  Streamlining its assets, The New York Times Co. sold About.com to Barry Diller's IAC/InteractiveCorp for $300 million last year.

For its money, IAC got one of the biggest networks of “expert” content online, which currently attracts over 86 million monthly unique users. Yet, like IAC’s Ask.com, About.com runs the risk of being labeled a “content farm” if it can’t keep its offerings up to par.

It will be Alex Ellerson’s job to ensure that doesn’t happen. “He has spent his career creating and monetizing best-in-class content,” Vogel said of Ellerson.

Ellerson comes from Howcast Media, where he served as chief operating officer, with prior tenures at Google in a senior business development role and Yahoo, where he held a number of roles -- including general manager of Yahoo’s Health and Astrology channels.

In total, Ellerson will oversee all content production for About.com’s 11 content channels, including its network of nearly 1,000 freelance “guides.”

Going forward, according to Vogel, additional priorities for About.com include increasing engagement, improving its mobile products, better data collection and analysis, a bigger social media presence and broader content offerings.

Also this week, About.com is bringing on Matthew Knell as vice president of social media and community strategy. Knell joins About.com from AOL, where he led the social media strategy for AOL media brands.

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