AOL Dumps Greg Coleman

In a stunning turn of events, AOL has dumped Greg Coleman, who was named president of the company’s Platform-A division in February, for former Google executive Jeff Levick, who has been installed as AOL’s new president, global advertising and strategy.

Coleman’s ouster is the first major move by new AOL Chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong, who arrived at AOL just a few weeks ago after leading Google’s sales operations for years. Armstrong had publicly praised Coleman, who had been in the midst of undertaking a series of major organizational changes within AOL’s sales group—seemingly with Armstrong’s blessing.

But clearly Armstrong wanted his own man to lead AOL’s sales efforts as the company nears a likely spin-off from parent company Time Warner while it continues to reinvent itself as a original content producer and social media hub.
 
Levick, who was most recently Google’s vp of industry development and marketing, will be taking on a even larger, more global role than Coleman did when he officially joins the company in a few weeks.

In a statement, Armstrong said Levick was the right person to handle both the brand and performance sides of AOL’s flagging ad sales business.

“I’ve worked with Jeff for more than seven years at Google, and he is absolutely the right person to drive growth in our premium ad sales, dramatically scale our Advertising.com business, and further develop AOL’s research initiatives and consumer insights,” said Armstrong.