AOL Hires Former Schwab Marketing Exec

NEW YORK–America Online has hired Leonard Short, formerly evp of advertising and brand management at Charles Schwab & Company, as executive vice president of brand marketing.

In the newly created post, Short, 43, will oversee the AOL Time Warner Internet unit’s domestic and international marketing efforts, including advertising and media, promotions and overall brand management. He will report to AOL president of marketing Joe Redling and will be based at AOL’s Dulles, Va., headquarters.

Short is expected to play a key role in the troubled division’s turnaround strategy, sources said. That strategy, which includes plans to offer members exclusive content and a broadband offering, is meant to increase customer satisfaction and retention and lessen reliance on ad revenue. In December, AOL’s New York-based parent projected flat overall 2003 revenues for the division, due primarily to slumping advertising and commerce sales [IQ Daily Briefing, Dec. 3, 2002].

Interpublic Group’s Gotham in New York handles AOL’s general market account; its sibling Casanova Pendrill in Irvine, Calif., was hired earlier this week to oversee the Hispanic portion of the account [IQ Daily Briefing, Jan. 8]. A company representative said these relationships will be unaffected by Short’s arrival.

At Schwab, Short was responsible for business development marketing, brand development, advertising, account and new asset acquisition and graphic and production services. He handled the launch of the brokerage’s Mutual Fund OneSource and Short left Schwab in August 2000 and has been consulting with various startups and venture capitol firms since.

Prior to Charles Schwab, Short was president for five years at Worldwide 1 on 1, a New York-based direct marketing and consumer relationship marketing agency that serviced clients like GE Capital, MCI, Citibank and Mariott Hotels and Resorts.