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Garlinghouse to leave AOL, reports say

Chief of the company's commerce and applications division is reportedly frustrated with how the former Internet giant is being run.

Brad Garlinghouse
Dan Farber/CNET

Brad Garlinghouse, AOL's president of commerce and applications and the head of its Silicon Valley operations, is leaving the troubled company, according to published reports.

Garlinghouse has become frustrated that the company is not taking a more aggressive strategy and felt the company was being relegated to just an arm of the Huffington Post, the publishing empire that AOL purchased earlier this year, sources tell the Business Insider. GigaOm also reported Garlinghouse's departure.

AOL did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Garlinghouse could not be reached, but a tweet from last week appears to highlight that alleged frustration: "When sales guys run the company, product guys don't matter so much, and a lot of them just turn off."

Garlinghouse, who joined AOL in 2009 as the new president of its Internet and Mobile Communications segment, is most famous for penning the "Peanut Butter Manifesto" while at Yahoo. In that 2006 internal memo, Garlinghouse complained of Yahoo, which has gone through its own series of troubles and reorganizations: "We want to do everything and be everything--to everyone...The result: a thin layer of investment spread across everything we do and thus we focus on nothing in particular."

While AOL has a large user base, the company has failed to keep up with Internet trends and is suffering from declining sales.