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IBM hires former AOL president Bob Lord as chief digital officer

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By Charlotte McEleny, Asia Editor

April 4, 2016 | 3 min read

IBM has named former AOL president and Razorfish CEO Bob Lord as chief digital officer, handing him the responsibility for managing the businesses digital presence and operations, as well as running its digital platform, sales and marketing.

The hire was first announced by David Kenny (pictured above), who runs the Watson artificial intelligence program for IBM, in a tweet this weekend.

Lord then followed up with a tweet himself, confirming the news that his former colleague has debuted.

Lord steps into the role after spending over two years at AOL. He was reported to have been in the running to become AOL CEO Tim Armstrong’s predecessor but left the company after it was acquired by Verizon.

His time at AOL was characterised by a number of high profile acquisitions, most notably in the ad tech area. This began with the purchase of video advertising outfit Adap.tv ($405m), native advertising company Gravity ($91m), cross-screen attribution firm Converto ($101m), followed by the purchase of video ad exchange Vidible ($50m).

IBM’s business has recently been moving into a stronger play on the marketing sector, making the business one of the key players in the burgeoning martech industry. This marketing and ad tech experience at AOL, strengthened by his background running digital agency Razorfish, makes his role strategically pivotal to IBM’s trajectory.

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