Jan Brandt, Direct Marketing Days New York’s Direct Marketer of the year in 2000, will step down as vice chair and chief marketing officer of America Online Inc. and take a part-time consultative position. The Dulles, VA-based interactive services firm is reconfiguring its leadership.
Ray Oglethorpe, currently president of AOL will retire after a transition period in which he will be a senior advisor to the company. The positions of chief operating officer and president of AOL will be eliminated.
AOL is also eliminating its business affairs department and assigning employees within it to the units they support. The unit had been run by David Colburn. Both Colburn and the unit are the subject of Securities and Exchange Commission investigations.
The company promoted Joseph Ripp to vice chairman from executive vice president and CFO and J. Michael Kelly from COO to chairman and CEO, AOL International. AOL has begun a search for a chief financial officer to fill the position formerly held by Ripp. Ripp will continue to serve as CFO until his replacement has been appointed.
In addition to the DMDNY award, Brandt was also named one of Fortune magazine’s “Most Powerful Women in American Business” in 1999 and 2000.
“Jan Brandt has become a marketing legend for the innovative and daring strategies that made AOL one of the world’s most powerful brands,” Jon Miller, AOL’s chairman and CEO said in a statement. “She championed the use of the famous AOL disk enabling millions of people to get access to the online world in a faster, easier fashion than they might ever have imagined.”
The new management structure was chosen to focus on creating new content and features, developing a differentiated broadband product and moving toward profitability in AOL’s international operations.