Former Digg biz dev head Bob Buch will as of Monday take on a new role as AOL‘s VP of Business Development. Buch will be joining Digg’s former Chief Strategy Officer Mike Maser, former Marketing Manager Aubrey Sabala, and former Head of Communications Kiersten Hollars, who have all made the switch over to AOL.
Buch will be part of a team helmed by former Google Managing Counsel and current AOL Senior Vice President of Business Development Jared Grusd.
“In addition to working with the usual suspects (Google, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, etc.), I’m going to prioritize working closely with a lot of the startups where most of the innovation is happening in this space.”
Since Buch joined Digg in 2007, he’s negotiated key partnerships for the site including the New York Times, Dow Jones, Facebook, Twitter, CBS, CNN and Microsoft. Buch also launched and managed the Digg Ads Platform.
The talent migration (Hollars was the first employee to switch) presents a challenge to the news aggregation site at a critical time, as the impending alpha launch of Digg 4 is rumored to be coming next week, co-founder Jay Adelson has also recently left and the site is currently on the receiving end of allegations of a gaming scandal.
Update: The story has developed. Digg CEO Kevin Rose claimed in a tweet that two out of the four employees who moved to AOL were “let go,” but insists in an email that Buch was not fired, whatever that means. Buch informs TechCrunch that while it was technically true that he was part of a layoff, he had asked to be laid off.
Update 2: Ashton Kutcher has also weighed in on Buch’s departure, from his iPhone.
AOL is a global advertising-supported Web company, with display advertising network in the U.S., a substantial worldwide audience, and a suite of popular Web brands and products. The company’s strategy focuses on increasing the scale and sophistication of its advertising platform and growing the size and engagement of its global online audience through leading products and programming. History of Aol: AOL was founded in the early 1980’s as Control Video Corp, with an online service, Gameline, for the Atari 2600 console. ...
Digg is a user driven social content website. Everything on Digg is user-submitted. After you submit content, other people read your submission and “Digg” what they like best. If your story receives enough Diggs, it’s promoted to the front page for other visitors to see. Kevin Rose came up with the idea for Digg in the fall of 2004. He found programmer Owen Byrne through eLance and paid him $10/hour to develop the idea. In addition, Rose paid $99...
Bob Buch was most recently Vice President of Business Development at AOL where he oversaw the company’s efforts to strike deals and expand its reach into mobile, commerce, and consumer applications. Prior to AOL, Bob was Vice President of Business Development for Digg for where he led syndication efforts to distribute “Digg This” buttons across the web. Bob also oversaw much of the company’s early revenue efforts, including the launch of DiggAds – it’s proprietary ad platform. Prior...