AOL might have been facing a few problems of late, but this one would be at the apex of all. A number of sources noted that Brad Garlinghouse, senior AOL executive has left the company. It was noted that Garlinghouse’s departure news came admist a slew of high-profile defections among Aol’s media properties. Garlinghouse is the third top executive to leave in recent months.
Garlinghouse, however had a few words to note as he notified his departure from AOL. He said, “Hard decision as I’m leaving a bunch of awesome people — working on some very good stuff — but decided it was time.”
Hired in 2009, Garlinghouse held responsibility to lead the Applications and Commerce Group and at the same time he even headed up the company’s Silicon Valley operations from its Palo Alto office.
Garlinghouse had a number of stunts to his name, but one of the most famous ones was that he circulated his Peanut Butter Manifesto, when employed by Yahoo. The said document was a detailed study made by him, which did a deep dive into structural problems at the company, and which was published in full by the Wall Street Journal. The former AOL and Yahoo exec did not miss out on a mocking opportunity, when Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz was fired in September. He tweeted his response as “ding dong the witch is dead”. It has been a famous incident for quite some time now.
Talking about AOL, the problems have risen, more since they joined forces with The Huffington Post. Firstly, it did cost them a handsome amount of $315 million in cash acquisition that formed the Huffington Post Media Group. AOL might be enjoying the services of the said division, but the other divisions have been rocked majorly since then. TechCrunch team, which had even formed a part of AOL, had declared ‘editorial independence’ and it had a lot to do with the Huffington Post.
There was more to the strict interference noted by Arianna Huffington as The Huffington Post was bought early this year by AOL and since then, the count of full-time writers being laid off has been a notable number. In March, more than 400 full-time writers across its verticals were laid off. On the other hand, Arianna’s inclusion had been an itching experience for a number of key members of Engadget, gadget and technology blog left, in no time after Arianna was installed in their boss.
There might be no real connection between the events, but still the circumstances and the situation direct the results to The Huffington Post majorly.
The acquisition of TechCrunch by AOL had a number of problems too. MG Seigler, one of the well-known writers of TechCrunch had parted ways some time back and today we hear more about the said division’s walkouts. TechCrunch senior editor Heather Harde left the company and she was accompanied by TechCrunch senior editor Sarah Lacy, who even did quit the company this week for unspecified reasons according to Bloomberg.
However, the Garlinghouse departure saw outsiders even crying it a loss. Geoff Ralston, a partner at educational startup incubator Imagine K12, who worked with Garlinghouse at Yahoo said, “Brad’s a really strong manager and when you lose strong people, it’s never a good thing for a company.”
AOL has seen a sharp fall in its share prices as it has fallen by a noticeable 37 percent. Yesterday, the shares slipped 16 cents further to $14.86 in New York.