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