Bob Lord Steps Down As AOL President

bob-lord-buh-byeTim Armstrong is going to have to look for a new successor.

The AOL CEO’s heir apparent, the highly visible Bob Lord, will soon step down from the company, which he joined two years ago to help spearhead an aggressive expansion of the company’s ad technology vision.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the news Monday, and AOL has since confirmed to AdExchanger.

Lord was in many ways the public face of AOL’s investments in programmatic technologies, appearing at countless conferences to talk about the company’s vision around data and exchange-traded media. AOL made a string of acquisitions during his tenure, including video ad-buying platform, attribution vendor Convertro and mobile ad network Millennial Media.

Later, when those investments culminated in a successful sale of the business to Verizon for $4.4 billion, he helped articulate the opportunity to unite a digital “ad stack” with the valuable mobile device data of a US wireless carrier.

But Lord’s ambition was to run a public company, and when Armstrong agreed to stick around Verizon to help manage the integration, Lord began contemplating an exit. In any case, running a subsidiary of a large telco may not have been his idea of an ideal CEO gig.

He told The Wall Street Journal in an interview, “That’s my sweet spot. That’s what I really want to do. I haven’t gone out in the market and looked yet. Right now, I’m committed to making sure things are tied up at AOL.”

Lord recently appeared in a fireside chat at AdExchanger’s conference. Here’s that video:

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