AOL says aloha to strategic ad exec Dave Morgan, founder of AOL-acquired Tacoda.
From a leadership standpoint, huge loss. Morgan was EVP Global Advertising Strategy. His departure essentially leaves AOL without a global advertising strategy while Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes splits and sells AOL.
Doubtful any entrepreneurial execs would stay through the sale. Buyers: Yahoo? Google? MicroWho? Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.
AOL paid around $275 million (actual purchase price undisclosed) to buy the behavioral targeting network, Tacoda. AOL most likely didn’t have the development team to build behavioral targeting technology in-house.
That left AOL’s search engine renaissance missing the search re-targeting piece, the hottest area in paid search and conversion marketing. If search engine consolidation is all about search, then Tacoda and Advertising.com are valuable prizes for Yahoo — or Google, which owns a 5 percent stake in AOL.
Tacoda had several slogans during its evolution (before being swallowed up by AOL). The startup was “The Audience Management Company” and “The Audience Company.” My favorite: “Where the people are” … and Dave Morgan is not.