Three senior execs are leaving AOL, just a month after the unexpected firing of CEO Jonathan Miller.
All the execs reported directly to Miller and oversee key areas of AOL's business. Jim Bankoff is VP of consumer and publisher services; Joe Redling, president of AOL Mobile and CEO of AOL International; and John Buckley, the vice president of corporate communications.
All three are currently still with the company but have taken advantage of a so-called "change of control" clause in their contracts. Joining them will be John McKinley who is leaving at the end of the year after a temporary stint as chief technology officer.
It's no surprise to see senior executive changes after a CEO is replaced, said industry analyst Rob Enderle. In the case of AOL, clearly the parent company, Time Warner, was dissatisfied with Miller's performance.
What the company's new course might be still remains to be seen, said Enderle, who doesn't rule out the possibility that Time Warner may be getting ready to sell AOL. "I didn't think AOL was in that bad a shape, but clearly Time Warner is very unhappy," he said.
Like Miller's dismissal, the departures of Bankoff and Redling will worry AOL's management ranks. Both were in prominently roles in the restructuring plan Miller had drafted and begun to implement in September. As such their departures put AOL in a shaky position at a time when it is undergoing a critical structural and strategic overhauling from a company focused on dial-up Internet access subscription fees to one focused on online advertising.
Miller's replacement, Randy Falco, is a TV industry veteran who was CEO of the NBC Universal Television Group and doesn't come from the Internet field.
Bankoff has been with AOL since 1995, and held a variety of positions, including president of AOL Web Properties and president of AOL eCommerce. Redling came to AOL in 1999 as senior vice president of marketing for the AOL service and was later promoted to marketing president. An official announcement from AOL about the impending departures of these executives and their replacements is likely to come next week.