NEW YORK AOL advertising executive Dave Morgan said he is leaving the Internet company to explore entrepreneurial opportunities.
Morgan joined AOL in July 2007 following the company's $275 million purchase of Tacoda, the ad network he founded in 2001. Morgan had served as evp of global advertising strategy, advising AOL CEO Ron Falco and COO Ron Grant on repositioning the company's ad assets.
AOL's absorption of Tacoda led to the creation of Platform A, a collection of AOL's ad networks, including Advertising.com, Lightningcast and Third Screen Media.
The departure is the second high-level defection from AOL this month. Kate Kayse, evp, marketing solutions at Platform A, is leaving to join Discovery Networks.
Morgan said he plans to start a new company in the digital advertising space. Prior to founding Tacoda, he started Real Media, an early Internet ad network that eventually merged with 24/7. He is exploring opportunities in emerging markets, data interchanges and cross-platform measurement.
"The way the buyers, sellers and service companies talk to each other is changing," he said. "Clearly how companies interact with data is going to be really important."
With the industry consumed by the large-scale consolidation deals, such as Microsoft's attempted purchase of AOL, many areas of growth go unaddressed, Morgan said.
"The amount of white space in the market goes up dramatically because everyone focuses on the big chess moves," he said.