Another AOL Veteran Jumps Ship, Lands At KickApps

Social software startup KickApps this morning announced that it has appointed Grant Cerny as Senior Vice President of Product Marketing. Prior, Cerny spent 5.5 years working for AOL, most recently as Vice President, Entertainment, Living & Real-time Products.

In a blog post announcing his decision to chase after ‘the next big thing’ following his resignation from AOL last month, Cerny has nothing but kind words for the company he’s leaving behind, which he believes will thrive in the years to come.

“My decision is a personal one; I am as bullish for AOL as ever, and even today spent an hour on AOL Music’s CD Listening Party devouring the new RJD2 album… AOL’s leadership and strategy is strong, and as a leaner, now-public company, I believe AOL will thrive.”

That’s nice, and arguably venture-backed KickApps seems to be doing a great job building a solid network of over 100,000 publishers, web professionals and small business operators who rely on its social media applications stack, so it looks like a great opportunity for him.

On his personal blog, Cerny mentions that he’s been working with KickApps’ Mike Sommers and Alex Blum over the past few years in his role as Product VP at AOL, so that also makes his decision more understandable.

But Cerny is only the latest in a series of executives who have been with AOL for a long time and jumping ship. Most recently, we talked about the departures of ‘chief lifestreamer’ David Liu, Product Manager of AOL’s Lifestream Platform Frank Gruber, former AOL Advertising SVP Eric Bosco and we’re also hearing rumors about CTO Ted Cahall being on his way out.

And that’s not even counting the 2,500 employees AOL is leaving behind in light of its IPO.

It will be very interesting to see how the company performs on its own again in the coming months and years, but chances are not many veteran execs will remain to try and make an impact on the ‘new AOL’.