Tim Castelli Out at AOL

Head of sales Jim Norton has begun search for replacement

AOL is losing its top East Coast sales executive.

Tim Castelli, AOL’s vp of sales for its Eastern U.S. Region, is leaving the company. Castelli—one of the many ex-Google executives brought on by CEO Tim Armstrong—is headed to Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, where he'll serve as evp of digital sales.

AOL plans to aggressively look for a replacement for Castelli, according to Jim Norton, AOL’s head of sales.

“Tim has a very personal opportunity to take on a new challenge,” said Norton. “His departure is continued validation that AOL has some of the top talent in the industry.”

It’s possible that Castelli surveyed AOL’s new sales structure under Norton and felt that his opportunities for advancement were limited. But it’s also possible that Armstrong is looking to bring in more brand-sales-oriented executives, rather than ex-Googlers.

Norton cautioned against reading too much into the move. “This is in no way a reflection of a change in strategy, or that we don’t have the right people in the building,” he said. "I don’t think this speaks to people’s experiences. We are about using content to bring brands to customers. At the end of the day, we are looking at people who understand customers."