AOL’s Mutiny on the Bounty?
So you are the new unencumbered AOL that has pushed its ship away from the Time Warner dock back in January. You are underway on a new journey that is supposed to reposition the company and put new life in the once iconic running man’s engine. In order for that to happen one would suspect that having the right people on the ship who plan to stick around would be the goal. Well, if that was the goal someone needs to make some new ones.
Yesterday it was announced that AOL’s CTO (chief technology officer) was getting off the boat. Considering that this journey isn’t even two months old yet this is not the kind of sign investors and others would like to see. All Things Digital tells us more
While AOL denied a report last week suggesting that CTO Ted Cahall is leaving, he actually is, um, leaving.
Sources at AOL said the company thought Cahall was staying when it issued a statement saying he was not leaving. Cahall apparently had other plans.
Part of my job here at Marketing Pilgrim is to interpret news events. I do this from the point of view of the “everyman”. In other words, I am a regular guy like many who are readers here. So here I go with my opinion on this kind of a move at this point in time of the development of AOL as it moves into the future: OUCH! That’s gonna leave a mark.
Either something is seriously wrong there or, I don’t know…… you tell me. This is not a good thing to have happen and one has to suspect that we are not going to know just why this happened. The official word to employees from the main C-level guy at AOL, Tim Armstrong, reads like this.
Ted Cahall took on the role of CTO after I had asked him to move into that position from a broader business role at the company. Ted is the person who drove the complete replacement of our publishing systems and took AOL deeper into open-source technology, among many other accomplishments. We all owe him a debt of gratitude for the work he has done. Ted has decided to move back into the business side of technology and feels it’s the right time to move on from AOL. Ted has been a strong leader at AOL and agreed to transition the company to a new CTO. We are aggressively searching for a new CTO and we believe AOL is a very attractive opportunity for the right candidate.
Armstrong has been the CEO for less than a year and one of the guys he asked to move into this position has jumped ship. To make it even more odd is that AOL was denying this was even happening right before Cahall made his move.
You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to read between the lines here. So for all of you CTO types looking for your next gig, Tim says that AOL believes that it is a very attractive opportunity for the right candidate. I guess Cahall wasn’t the right one and one has to suspect that anyone who steps into that role in the future has a soft spot for Kool-Aid.