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AOL Grabs Former Yahoo Exec For Email, Instant Messaging

September 9, 2009

On Tuesday, a former senior Yahoo executive was announced as AOL’s new president of Internet and mobile communications operations.

Heading AOL’s efforts to broaden the reach of its email and instant messaging services will be Brad Garlinghouse, 38, who left Yahoo just last year to join  private equity firm Silver Lake Partners, said AOL said in a statement.

Garlinghouse has his work cut out for him, seeing how email with AOL is currently trailing behind Yahoo, Hotmail and Gmail in the United states.

He will also be in charge of spearheading AOL’s Silicon Valley operations and act as the West Coast lead for AOL Ventures, the company’s venture capital arm, said AOL.

Before he joined Silver Lake, Garlinghouse spent almost six years working with Yahoo, leading the company’s communications and community products.

“Brad Garlinghouse is an all-star in the Internet industry with an unparalleled background and proven track record, having led Yahoo’s communications products to unprecedented growth,” AOL chairman and chief executive Tim Armstrong said in a statement.

According to Armstrong, Garlinghouse will “be a major force for AOL in Silicon Valley, working to expand our presence there and in the tech community in general.”

“It’s a tremendous opportunity to join AOL at this pivotal moment in its history,” Garlinghouse told AFP.

“Tim has set out a clear strategy and vision for where he is taking this company as it becomes independent again.”

Time Warner is planning to spin off AOL by the end of the year and make it an independent publicly traded company.

AOL was picked up by Time Warner in 2001 during what has been called one of the most disastrous mergers in corporate history.

Formerly known as America Online, AOL was in its prime as a provider of dial-up service in the early days of the Internet but began losing its popularity as consumers turned to high-speed or broadband services.

Now, AOL is the number four Web gateway after Google, Microsoft sites and Yahoo!

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