AOL Hires 'peanut Butter Manifesto' Author

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A former Yahoo executive perhaps best known for his so-called "peanut butter manifesto" has taken a job running AOL's Internet and mobile communications business.

As president of AOL's Internet and mobile group, Brad Garlinghouse will head the company's effort to grow its e-mail and instant messaging products. In addition, he'll serve as West Coast lead for AOL Ventures, the company's venture capital arm. That means he'll run AOL's Silicon Valley operations.

The communications group is one of five key segments that AOL plans to focus on, as identified by Tim Armstrong, the former Google executive who took over as chairman and CEO of AOL in March. Armstrong is tasked with trying to turn around the fortunes of the once-popular ISP (Internet service provider) after it has struggled in recent years to keep pace with competitors under its new advertising-supported content model.

Garlinghouse was most recently an adviser at Silver Lake Partners. He previously spent six years at Yahoo, where he was senior vice president of communications and communities.

That's where he wrote the "peanut butter manifesto," a leaked internal memo calling for a major reorganization of the company. The company needed to stop spreading a thin layer of peanut butter across many different opportunities, and instead focus on key areas, he wrote in the 2006 memo.

The memo, which many analysts agreed with, came at a time when Yahoo was posting disappointing financial results and pursuing a scattered approach to products and acquisitions.

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