The Web portal last September bought Tacoda, the behavioral targeting firm Morgan founded in 2001, for $275 million. Tacoda has since become part of Platform-A, the unit encompassing AOL's various ad networks including Advertising.com and Quigo.
In a memo announcing Morgan's departure, AOL COO Ron Grant explained that the integration of Tacoda had been completed ahead of schedule. "Dave, though, is an entrepreneur at heart, and so it didn't really surprise me that he wanted to get back in the start-up game again, and we'll look forward to working with him in the future," wrote Grant. He also noted that Morgan would help to identify startups that could be of strategic value to AOL or Platform-A. Morgan's departure was first reported in paidContent.org.
Former Tacoda CEO Curt Viebranz remains as head of Platform-A, but AOL will not fill the post vacated by Morgan. His exit marks the second high-level departure from AOL's ad unit in a matter of days. Kathleen Kayse, former executive vice president at Platform A, last week was named as head of digital ad sales for Discovery Communications.