"Half of AOL's Sales Force To Be Cut"* by Henry Blodget

As you will recall, the head of Advertising.com, Lynda Clarizio, has just been promoted to run AOL's broader ad-network group, Platform A. Lynda is taking the place of Curt Viebranz, who got canned last Friday.

Lynda's first order of business, one source says, is to integrate Tacoda, Quigo, and other recent acquisitions into Advertising.com. Advertising.com has been run as a stand-alone subsidiary, with a separate ad sales force from AOL's (which caused some friction). Our tipster believes Lynda will also be integrating the Advertising.com sales force with the AOL sales force. We believe this makes sense.

We have not been able to confirm any of this information, although the combination of the sales forces will presumably result in the elimination of "redundancies."

* Lynda Clarizio is planning to put ad.com sales leadership in all key positions. There will be one sales force.
* Half of AOL sales force to be cut
* Mark Ellis is the only AOL sales leader that will survive. Lynda is meeting with him in NYC Thursday. [Lynda says she will not be in New York on Thursday]
* Don Kennedy is currently in charge of all ad.com sales. He may get the head nod for Platform A. Maybe Ellis. Hard to say
* [AOL COO] Ron Grant made an ass of himself late 2007 by yelling and screaming at ad.com leadership in Baltimore. Considering we are the only group keeping him afloat, that pissed a lot of people off. [Lynda says that she led the meeting in Baltimore and that Ron didn't yell or scream.]
* Ad.com doesn't necessarily not like Tacoda [a recent behavioral-targeting acquisition]. Tacoda is just tiny and doesn't make a dent in big sales goals
* Most ad.com'ers would rather stay separate as all the acquisitions haven't helped ad.com at all revenue wise
* Many senior folks have left ad.com in last 6 months

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