AOL ad exec gone in shakeup

President of AOL's Platform-A ad group replaced by another ad manager in shakeup at Time Warner company.

Curt Viebranz, president of AOL's Platform-A advertising unit is gone, replaced by a manager who reported to him, AOL says.

Lynda Clarizio, president of Advertising.com, was named president of Platform-A on Monday in a shakeup that sent Viebranz out the door. The company won't say whether he was fired after being named head of Platform-A about six months ago.

Viebranz came to AOL last summer when it acquired Tacoda, of which he was chief executive officer. AOL has been on a buying binge, scooping up other online ad firms including AdTech, Buy.at, Lightningcast, Quigo, Third Screen Media, and Advertising.com.

The online ad market is hot--Google on Tuesday got final approval to buy DoubleClick; Microsoft acquired Aquantive; and Yahoo bought RightMedia and Blue Lithium.

Henry Blodget, citing an unidentified source, writes in his Silicon Valley Insider blog that Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes plans to sell or spin off AOL if the company has not turned itself around enough by mid-2008.

During a presentation at a Bear Stearns Media Conference in Palm Beach, Fla., on Tuesday, Bewkes said it makes sense to operate the access and advertising parts of the business separately.

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