AOL's top advertising executive to leave company

NEW YORK Mon Jul 25, 2011 2:11pm EDT

The AOL logo is seen on the outside of the building housing the companies corporate headquarters in New York in this May 28, 2009 file photo. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

The AOL logo is seen on the outside of the building housing the companies corporate headquarters in New York in this May 28, 2009 file photo.

Credit: Reuters/Lucas Jackson

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - AOL Inc's top advertising executive will leave the company as part of a revamping designed to turn around its advertising sales, AOL's chief executive told employees on Monday.

Jeff Levick, the company's president of global advertising and strategy and one-time Google executive, will leave after a six-week transition period, according to the memo obtained by Reuters.

Ned Brody, who is in charge of the company's advertising network, was promoted to chief revenue officer.

"We won't be hitting the pause button this week, we'll be on fast-forward," AOL Chief Executive Tim Armstrong said in the memo.

Lauren Hurvitz, head of corporate communications, and Kathy Andreasen, the head of human resources, both of whom were hired in October, will also be leaving the company.

During the first quarter, AOL's Internet display advertising -- big splashy ads on web pages -- rose for the first time in three years, although its overall advertising revenue fell.

AOL, once the world's most popular Internet destination, is being eclipsed by Google and Facebook. For instance, AOL's advertising revenue in the fourth quarter slid almost 30 percent -- as Armstrong overhauled the sales team and ditched unprofitable inventory.

The news of the shakeout was first reported by AllThingsD.

Shares of AOL are trading down about 1 percent to $19.25 in afternoon trade.

(Reporting by Jennifer Saba; Editing by Derek Caney)

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