Angel Gambino, the UK-based head of music for social network Bebo, now owned by AOL (NYSE: TWX), is leaving the company, reports News.com, and she confirmed to me in an e-mail. She was only there a year, after having joined the network in May last year as the global VP of music & content, to beef up its global music strategy, products and partnerships. Prior to Bebo, she was the VP commercial, strategy and digital media for Viacom (NYSE: VIA) in the UK, where she worked across 11 channels, and was previously controller of business development and emerging platforms at the BBC. Gambino’s own blog is here and you’ll probably see some official announcement from her on it soon. She also told me she hasn’t decided on where she will go next.
AOL has fallen into this habit of not locking any of the senior execs and founders of the companies it acquires. While there is some merit in making sure the execs don’t feel forced to worked at a place they may not end up liking, this hasn’t necessarily helped in retaining anyone. All of its acquisitions in the online ad space are prime examples of that talent bleed. Certainly the $850 million buy of Bebo should have prompted AOL lawyers to do some extra work. They have already lost the two founders…well, not lost since they exited with the buy, but you get the idea. Joanna Shields, the president of Bebo, has now moved out to New York City. Will we see more Bebo senior execs, of which there weren’t a lot to begin with, leave in the near future?