Google's North American director of agency relations Erin Clift is leaving to join AOL (NYSE: TWX) as its VP of global sales development, according to AdAge. Clift is the second prominent Google (NSDQ: GOOG) executive to join AOL since former Google North American ad sales chief Tim Armstrong was hired as the company's CEO earlier this year. Armstrong also hired former colleague Jeff Levick to lead global ad sales.
During her tenure at Google, Clift tried to improve the company's stature among advertising agencies. A NYT article from September described one initiativedubbed Campus@which saw Clift's team visiting Madison Avenue Agencies. "We essentially take Google our people, our products, our food, our tchotchkes roll into the lobbies and give people the chance to interact with Google," she said.
Google has made several changes to its ad sales force in recent months. The company laid off 200 employees in sales and marketing in late March. More recently, the company shuffled top ad sales executives. As part of that realignment, Google veteran Penry Price was given the new post of VP of agency and industry relations. A Google spokesman did not immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment.
By Joseph Tartakoff