AOL media prez David Eun says sayonara

AOL Media and Studios president David Eun issued a goodbye memo this morning, according to TechCrunch. The move comes just two-and-a-half weeks after AOL unloaded 40% of its cash to buy The Huffington Post for $315 million.

Under the HuffPo deal, Arianna Huffington received a big new title: president and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post Media Group, which will include all Huffington Post and AOL content.

Understandably, that was a lot for Eun to take. His memo says it’s all good, but the man doth protest a bit too much:

"With the historic acquisition of The Huffington Post, my role and responsibilities as President, AOL Media are changing. Tim [Armstrong, AOL CEO] and I have discussed at length how I might continue within the new organizational structure, but ultimately there isn’t a role that matches what I am seeking to do.

I believe this acquisition is great for AOL, and I’ve been happy to count Arianna as a friend for a number of years.”

The exit is a blow for AOL, as Eun was a respected and well-liked exec. Even the famously combative Michael Arrington, writing in his TechCrunch piece, applauded Eun for letting the blog keep its voice post-AOL takeover.

AOL-owned tech blog Engadget lost two editors last week, with associate editor Ross Miller citing the “AOL Way” as “a catalyst” for his exit.

I personally had chatted with Eun a few times, including an interview back in October for a piece on AOL’s path to reinvention. He was excited about TechCrunch joining AOL’s growing roster of marquee properties, and he spoke about targeting “young influencers” in various key categories like tech. Eun also said he was looking forward to focusing on content that “relates to multicultural audiences” will also be a focus as the company refines its lineup.

Now, it seems, those goals are mostly in Arianna’s hands — and AOL needs to make sure they’re achieved. AOL’s purse is now too small to rely on anything else. -Julianne

The return of Chuck Phillips

Charles Phillips, the co-president Oracle kicked to the curb last month to make way for Mark Hurd, has a new gig — one with the letters “CEO” in it at last. He’s taking the helm at Infor, which the New York Times nails with this description: “The company’s claim to fame, if you can call it that, is owning the largest business software franchise no one has ever heard of. “

Infor is one of those companies that should get more attention — it has more than $2 billion in annual revenue and a giant customer base, plus 8.000 employees — but doesn’t because it’s a) privately held, and b) makes enterprise software, which is important and valuable and intensely boring, even to the poor CTOs who have to buy and wrangle it. 

Adding Phillips should help raise Infor’s profile. But here’s the really amusing twist: There’s basically two paths Infor can take from here, IPO or get bought. And who would be the most likely buyer?

Oracle. Not because it needs any of the software in Infor’s portfolio, but because Oracle’s main criterion for purchases these days seems to be size, and Infor is one of the last multi-billion-dollar enterprise IT companies left in the industry’s rapidly disappearing “big but not Goliath big” tier. 

But, of course, no matter what Phillips accomplishes in his career next-act, here’s what most of America will remember him for:


Photo: Jen Gallardo, CNN