AOL COO and Search Head Depart the Company

The company is about to go through a longer restructuring process

By Lucian Parfeni   September 16th, 2009 12:18 GMT
AOL is starting what looks to be a massive restructuring campaign. Several months after Tim Armstrong was brought in as CEO he finally got around to doing some changes in the company's lineup and he's starting at the top level, ousting Chief Operations Officer Kim Partoll and Senior Vice President of Search and Local John Kannapel. Surprisingly, Patroll's departure comes just a couple of months after she got the position straight from Armstrong himself.

It may be strange that Armstrong started the reorganization six months after being announced as the new CEO, but he spent the first 100 days there visiting AOL offices around the world, evaluating the company's assets and working on future strategy. With that behind him, it's time for phase two of his plan, reshaping the management structure.

Kannapel was listed as “acting head” of local and mapping during the last reshuffle in July so his departure was more or less expected but Patroll's leave is somewhat of a mystery. Apparently Armstrong won't be replacing any of them and their responsibilities will be spread out among other high-level execs. The company is also said to be on the lookout for a new chief marketing officer.

“Having proven herself an outstanding operating executive, Kim Partoll will take on the role of COO of AOL. In addition to continuing to expertly manage the Access business and the Business Intelligence group, Kim will focus on the “must haves” underlying each of the five strategic areas – ensuring everything we do is global, mobile, data-specific and cost managed,” Armstrong said back in June.

New hire and former Yahoo exec Brad Garlinghouse, who was just brought in a little over a week ago, will take over the mobile business and Armstrong himself will run international operations. AOL advertising head will take over Kannapel's search duties while Jon Brod the former CEO of Patch, a local services company AOL acquired a while back, who now runs AOL Ventures, gets local and mapping. Armstrong is expected to make further changes in the company's executive lineup and then proceed with a greater series of layoffs that have already been announced.

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