AOL has made some bold acquisitions lately – most notably that of The Huffington Post. Since then, however, the company has been losing some key staff members.
Two editors of AOL’s popular tech blog Engadget announced their resignations, citing "The AOL Way" of content production as a catalyst. Then last week, David Eun, President of AOL Media and Studios, told staff he was leaving, as he didn’t feel there was a place for him at AOL any longer with Arianna Huffington coming in and taking over.
Now, Kara Swisher at AllThingsD is reporting that Executive Vice President, North American Sales, Mark Ellis is leaving to take a similar position at Yahoo. She writes:
While AOL portrayed the move as a well-planned reorganization in an internal memo, the departure of Ellis was a new wrinkle, as Armstrong has been contemplating how to best rejigger its key ad business after the bold acquisition of the news and opinion site run by its famous editor-in-chief Arianna Huffington.
Several sources said Armstrong found out a week ago about Yahoo’s interest in hiring Ellis, whom Yahoo had been pursing Ellis for far longer. Interestingly, he has been involved in the planning for the changes as the deal to buy the Huffington Post wraps up.
In that memo, AOL’s Jeff Levick told staff the company will be integrating Huffington Post sellers into the company’s regional teams and expanding the roles of three of "star field generals" Tim Richards, Wendy McGregor, and Tim Castelli, who will lead sales for AOL and Huffington Post Media Group – the new entity run by Arianna Huffington that includes all AOL content.
Ellis has been with AOL since 2004 when he started as VP of the company’s Detroit Region.