AOL promotes ad chief from within

The Web portal chooses Lisa Brown, a former marketing strategist for the company, to spearhead advertising sales--and hopefully put the division back on the road to profit.

America Online on Tuesday announced that it has chosen from within its own ranks a new head of advertising sales.

AOL named Lisa Brown as executive vice president of interactive marketing to oversee the company's advertising sales. Brown, who joined AOL in 2002 as the executive vice president of its marketing strategy and solutions group, succeeds Robert Sherman, who retired from AOL last week.

Although an AOL representative last week told Reuters that Sherman sees the company's advertising as being on the "right track," Brown will still face tough times trying to boost advertising sales.

In its earnings report last month, AOL parent company AOL Time Warner saw its overall revenue rise 6 percent from the year-ago period, but cited the online unit as one of the drains on company profits. It noted that advertising revenue continued to slide, sinking 5 percent to $1.3, because of decreases in the AOL and cable divisions.

Since joining the company, Brown has been responsible for crafting advertising strategy for the AOL service and AOL's Web properties. She will report to AOL Vice Chairman Ted Leonsis.

Prior to joining AOL, Brown was chief executive of USA Electronic Commerce Solutions.