AOL Names Microsoft Exec As CTO

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AOL said today it has hired Alexander Gounares as its Chief Technology Officer and as a member of its Global Executive Operating Committee.

Gounares will lead AOL's technology strategy, platform development and external technology partnerships, as a well as play a key role in the overall strategy and directions of the company. He will report to AOL Chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong and will be based at AOL's Dulles, Virginia campus.

Gounares comes to AOL from Microsoft where he worked for 17 years and was most recently a Corporate Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for Microsoft's Online Services Division. While at Microsoft, Gounares led strategic and technical operations for some of the company's most important projects Including Microsoft's global advertising platform, Bing search, MSN and Microsoft Virtual Earth.

He also served for three years as Technology Advisor to Microsoft Chairman and founder Bill Gates, as well as Corporate Vice President of Corporate Strategy in Microsoft's Finance Department.

"This is an extraordinary opportunity to lead and cultivate the top-flight global team that is creating exciting new technologies to drive the platforms and products that AOL offers," Gounares said.

"Our goal together will be to harness the power of software to deliver on the enormous promise for AOL in its core areas of content, advertising and consumer applications. Tim has built on the historical strength of AOL and put together a fabulous leadership team and bold strategy for the future. I am excited to be part of the team and help lead AOL forward."

Gounares will join AOL on May 13. He succeeds Ted Cahall, whose departure was announced previously.

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