AOL made a pair of big announcements today — including a new acquisition and a new hire — and revealed that it’s searching for a new chief technology officer.
First, the new stand-alone online company announced that it had acquired StudioNow, an online video platform, for $36.5 million. The new acquisition will be folded into AOL’s Seed.com, integrating video content into the site that searches the Internet for what people want to read and assigns those pieces to freelancers. Said CEO Tim Armstrong:
“Premium original video creation is a fundamental part of AOL’s strategy to offer consumers world-class, stimulating content at scale and the integration of StudioNow into Seed.com will enable us to increase our video content/offerings significantly.”
AOL’s second announcement revealed a new hire: Jeff Reynar, who has been brought on as head of technology for engineering and products. Reynar will oversee the company’s new New York-based “Technology Center,” and work on innovation for the company’s content development business.
Reynar worked at Google and Microsoft before co-founding DBT Labs, “a company that built a social search service,” AOL said. No doubt his social search experience will help expand the reach and capabilities of Seed.
Additionally, AOL mentioned that it’s currently on the search for a new CTO, since the current chief, Ted Cahall, “has decided to move on from AOL and will be transitioning the company to a new CTO.”
Full release about Reynar’s hiring after the jump
Read more: Press release: AOL Acquires StudioNow
Previously: Saul Hansell Leaves New York Times For AOL
AOL NAMES JEFF REYNAR TO LEAD NEW TECHNOLOGY CENTER IN NEW YORK
New York, NY, January 25, 2010 — AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL) today announced that Jeff Reynar has joined the company as Head of Technology for Engineering and Products in New York. In this new role, Reynar will build out and manage AOL’s New York Technology Center and will focus on innovation for AOLâ€™s content business and lead AOL’s engineering efforts in New York.
Reynar, 40, is the co-founder of DBT Labs, a company that built a social search service, where he was chief technology officer. Prior to DBT Labs, Reynar spent four-and-a-half years at Google, first as a product manager and then as an engineering manager. He was responsible for co-founding and leading an internal startup team focused on new approaches to search including Google Squared, an experimental search tool that gathers facts from the Web and presents them in an organized collection, and Google Blog Search, among other innovations. Reynar also led the Search UI team in New York that was responsible for much of the search results page on google.com. He previously spent nearly five years at Microsoft where he was a lead program manager on the Authoring Services team that was responsible for Word.
“Jeff is a hands-on technology leader who is experienced in software engineering, people and product management as well as applied research. AOL was founded on a belief that behind great consumer experiences is great engineering, and Jeff is precisely the type of all-star we need to identify, recruit and foster talent as we build out our New York Technology Center,” said AOL CEO and Chairman, Tim Armstrong.
“This is an incredible opportunity to build a team in New York that will work on products that reach tens of millions of consumers,” said Reynar. “AOL’s strategy — content, advertising and communications — presents enormous opportunities. I’m excited by the prospect of finding engineers here and bringing new, young engineering talent to New York City to develop products that will make a tangible difference to consumers. New York is the media capital of the world and bringing more engineering into the content business will make the Internet even more useful than it is today.”
As AOL focuses on building world-class platforms for the Web, the company is expanding its engineering talent with the announcement of the New York Technology Center. The company is also launching a search for a new global Chief Technology Officer. Ted Cahall, the company’s current CTO, has decided to move on from AOL and will be transitioning the company to a new CTO. Currently the company has engineering and product development hubs in Dulles, Virginia; Mountain View and San Francisco, California; Bangalore, India; Dublin, Ireland, and Tel Aviv, Israel as well as a few additional remote locations in other parts of the U.S. and is aggressively expanding engineering at these centers.
“We want to be known as a place where world-class engineering drives world-class results for our company and the consumers and partners we serve,” said Armstrong. “That’s why we are expanding our technology organization and making it easier for us to maximize geographically-centered teams focused on specific products and hire world-class engineering resources in multiple locations across the globe. The result will be a global technology organization focused on innovation and execution on a global scale.”
Reynar is a graduate of the University of Delaware, and received his Ph.D. in Computer and Information Science from the University of Pennsylvania.