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Friendster hires AOL ad exec

Former America Online executive will be responsible for social-networking site's ad sales.

Social-networking site Friendster has snapped up former America Online advertising executive Charles Barrett to manage sales. Barrett, who had been AOL's senior vice president of media network sales since 2002, will be responsible for Friendster's advertising sales, with plans to start a national sales team. Before AOL, Barrett managed regional ad sales for Yahoo and Geocities, a community site bought by Yahoo in 2000.

Just two months ago, Friendster named Scott Sassa, an entertainment-business veteran, as chief executive and president, in a move to elevate the company's profile and drive development. The Mountain View, Calif.-based company has investments from esteemed venture capitalists Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Benchmark Capital, among others.