Tim Armstrong pinpoints the problem with AOL: The HR lady
Another executive shake-up for the troubled online publisher, but this one will work!
It was the head of human resources.
And the woman who writes press releases.
And the director of advertising he personally recruited from Google.
No word on whether he showed the chief custodial worker the door, or anyone in the cafeteria, but make no mistake, AOL chief executive Tim Armstrong has figured out who's screwing up AOL: Everyone but him.
From the Associated Press:
In an internal email Monday, CEO Tim Armstrong outlined a number of leadership changes, including the exit of AOL's president of global advertising and strategy, Jeff Levick. Armstrong, a former Google Inc. advertising executive, had brought Levick over from the search company shortly after taking the helm at AOL in 2009. The two worked together for more than seven years at Google.
Levick is being replaced by former VP of paid services Ned Brody, who's actually getting a newly created, combined job as chief revenue officer and president of AOL's advertising unit. The advantage of giving Levick two jobs is that when Armstrong decides to fire him nine months hence, he can write a shorter memo to the staff.
Also sacrificed to Armstrong's inability to turn around AOL were Lauren Hurvitz, head of corporate communications. She is being replaced by Maureen Sullivan, formerly AOL's senior vice president of brand marketing, who will now preside over the combined functions of marketing and corporate communications. Great idea.
Human resources director Kathy Andreasen also was booted. No permanent successor was named, which means interested candidates will have no one to email their resumes to! What a dilemma! Oh, wait, Armstrong named an "interim" HR head who, if she has any smarts, is emailing around her own resume.
Hurvitz and Andreasen took the jobs they just got fired from last October, so when you think about it, aren't all AOL positions "interim"?
Let's just hope the VP of elderly dial-up subscribers is safe. The older folks hate change.
Since becoming CEO of AOL in 2009, Armstrong has presided over several executive-level shake-ups, massive layoffs the acquisition in February of The Huffington Post and continued delusions about "quality content."
The company has struggled to grow revenue while Google and Facebook have been cleaning up, and shares (NYSE: AOL) are down 21 percent this year. Other than that, everything is going according to Armstrong's master plan.
Arianna, are you paying attention?