AOL has announced that Stuart Flint, UK commercial director, will replace Hamish Nicklin as managing director following his surprise departure to take a new role at the Guardian, The Drum has learned.
Flint joined the company as part of Microsoft Advertising amidst its merger with the tech company as it integrated its sales teams following the agreement of its partnership in the UK.
Nicklin, who joined from Google in March, has moved to take a role he has 'long coveted' at the Guardian as chief revenue officer, responsible for advertising revenues, jobs and it's branded content division.
Speaking to The Drum about the role change, Graham Moysey, head of international for AOL commented that he was sad to see Nicklin go but added that he felt that in Flint the succession to run the UK business was "seamless".
Flint commented that he believed the company was to continue the momentum from 2015 which saw the Microsoft partnership integration begin, the acquisition of Millennial Media and it was also acquired by Verizon Media, a year that Moysey described as "remarkable".
He continued: "We're six months into the Microsoft deal and not only have we integrated it successfully but we've also been able to recruit some top talent and cross train the sales teams so it feels like it's working from a cultural perspective and we know that it's working from metrics perspective."
Asked for the priority for 2016, Moysey cited the integration of Millennial Media as the current focus to achieve.
"We have not deviated from our strategy to focus on content and technology, so you can expect the same sort of growth as in 2015. Our mission is to continue that accelerated growth throughout 2016 and you will not only see us continue to integrate, but attract and business partner with either acquisitions or strategic alliances that will help us accelerate the growth mission that we have," Moysey concluded.
The Drum also understands that AOL is seeking to fill Flint's now vacant role heading up the sales team in London.