real-time news and commentary for investors
Thursday, Aug 15
Yahoo, AOL reportedly end exec dispute; Adap.tv inventory questioned
- Kara Swisher reports Yahoo (YHOO -2.5%) and AOL (AOL -1.9%) have reached a settlement over Yahoo's plans to hire former AOL ad sales chief Ned Brody to be its North American ad sales chief.
- Brody left AOL in April with plans to join Yahoo, and Swisher reported at the time the companies could go to court on account of Brody's non-compete agreement. She now reports Yahoo gave AOL "some sweeteners" to get it to relent.
- Brody will have his work cut out for him: Yahoo's display ad sales fell 11% Y/Y in Q2 in spite of leadership changes and new ad formats. Yahoo is betting major ad tech investments will help right the ship.
- Separately, AdWeek reports new AOL acquisition/video ad tech provider Adap.tv is "rife with suspect ad inventory" such as "autoplay ads that appear below the fold" and "straight-up bogus ad impressions generated by bots." One Web fraud researcher "found at least 30 percent of Adap.tv’s traffic to be bot-driven."
- AOL has already had a tumultuous week. CEO Tim Armstrong was forced to apologize to a Patch employee he fired on the spot during last week's layoff announcement, after the employee took a picture of him.