AOL Loses Top Ad Exec

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aol.jpgDave Morgan, 44, the head of AOL’s advertising strategy, is leaving the company to pursue entrepreneurial opportunities. Morgan leaves at a key time for AOL as Time Warner restructures its business under new chief executive Jeff Bewkes.

Time Warner plans to separate AOL’s online-access business, a move widely seen as an ominous sign of a planned sale or spinoff. In recent months, AOL has focused on growing ad sales. Morgan joined the company in July of 2007 after it acquired Tacoda for $275 million.

Morgan founded Tacoda – an online ad company that used behavioral targeting techniques to track online habits. Curtis Viebranz, another Tacoda exec, also moved to AOL. He will continue to run Platform A, an online ad middleman designed to consolidate its offerings to brand advertisers.

A widely reported on internal memo distributed by AOL chief operating officer Ron Grant reads in part: “[I]t didn’t really surprise me that he wanted to get back in the startup game again, and we’ll look forward to working with him in the future.”

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