AOL splits chief marketer’s role

AOL UK has split its marketing function into two roles, claiming that accelerating growth through a new unmetered price plan has necessitated a management restructure.

The marketing department reshuffle means an end to the role of AOL UK group marketing director. Keith Hawkins, who has held the title for the past 18 months, is leaving the company “to pursue other opportunities”.

Clare Lawrence, previously AOL UK’s director of marketing, planning and services, becomes director of marketing – acquisition, with responsibility for all direct marketing and member acquisition activity across AOL UK’s multiple brands – AOL, CompuServe and Netscape Online.

Lawrence has 15 years’ experience in direct marketing, gained with WWAV Rapp Collins in a range of production, marketing services and data management roles, and subsequently with European marketing design agency Finex Communications.

Sharon Lang has been appointed director of marketing – brand. Lang previously worked with AOL UK as a consultant, initially as managing director of Mansfield Lang Direct Media and more recently as founder of The Lang Consultancy. Her 18-year career within media and marketing has also included senior roles with Acme Media (part of Saatchi & Saatchi) and WWAV.

Meanwhile, Alex Boothroyd, previously AOL Europe director of billing, has been appointed as AOL UK director of customer operations.

All three directors will report to Lori Friedman, who has been appointed to the new role of chief operating officer.

“We are experiencing the fastest growth in our history,” says AOL UK managing director Karen Thomson. This has been fuelled by UK consumers’ “tremendous enthusiasm for the AOL Flat Rate unmetered price plan, and the road ahead demands even greater depth in our senior management team.”

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