Report: AOL Ad Sales Chief Leaving

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The head of America Online's advertising sales is leaving the company, according to reports.


Lisa Brown will leave for health and personal reasons, a report in Friday's Wall Street Journal said. The online unit is recruiting Time Warner ad sales executive Michael Kelly to replace her, the paper said.


Brown's departure would be a sharp blow to AOL, which has struggled to restore its advertising after the dot-com meltdown ended many of its long-term marketing deals. Unlike Yahoo, which reorganized its sales unit and repaired its relationships with agencies, AOL has continued to lose ad revenue. In the third quarter, ad sales declined 33 percent from a year earlier.


Brown was named to head AOL's sales efforts in May 2003, six months after she was brought on by AOL chief executive Jonathan Miller. Brown and Miller worked together at USA Interactive.


Kelly's arrival would spell a further restructuring of AOL's ad sales unit, in an effort to coordinate it better with the various AOL services, the Journal said. Kelly would be the third leader of the unit in a year.


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