The great AOL pre-spinout makeover continues! The New York-based company today announced that it is tapping Shashi Seth, formerly head of monetization for YouTube, as its senior vice president of Global Advertising Products, just weeks after it hired former Yahoo executive Brad Garlinghouse to head its West Coast operations. After leaving YouTube, Seth joined Cooliris as its chief revenue officer. He is going back to work for Tim Armstrong, the former Google sales honcho who has been tasked with turning around AOL. When I spoke to Seth this morning, he said that he’s going to be based in Mountain View, Calif., and will report to Jeff Levick, president of Global Advertising and Strategy at AOL.
Seth is going to work on AOL’s advertising platform business and will be responsible for the company’s monetization as it tries to become a major force in display advertising. Seth is a well-regarded and well-connected ad-industry insider, and from that perspective, this is a solid, smart move by AOL. His departure is bad news for Cooliris, one of my favorite startups (thanks to its awesome plug-in). While it’s unlikely that Seth’s exit is going to mortally wound Cooliris, which has been adding many senior executives to its roster and building up its bench, I am quite certain the fledgling company is going to experience some hiccups and miss his advertising industry connections.