AOL appoints ex-Microsoft brand chief James Hayr to new head of branded content role

AOL UK has appointed James Hayr to the newly created role of head of branded content.

Previously creative strategy director at technology startup Kinetic Seven, Hayr will be responsible for leading AOL’s larger brand integration across AOL content properties including The Huffington Post, MyDaily, Engadget, TechCrunch, Parentdish and premium video platforms AOL On and Be On.

He will also manage the creative solutions team, reporting to Toby Morris, commercial director, AOL UK.

Morris said: “James’s proven track record and his commercial and creative background make him a great fit for AOL. The superb industry recognition he has achieved back up his credentials and we’re excited for him to join us.

“Branded content and native advertising are as critical to our strategy as programmatic platforms, and James’s experience will help cement our position as a market leader in high level brand integrations.”

Previously Hayr was head of branded solutions at Microsoft where he lead a team working on Xbox, MSN, mobile and Skype.

AOL has made a number of key hires in recent months including Penny Harris as head of international revenue, James Harris as agency Lead, international and John Baylon as head of trading.

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