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AOL loses commercial director Gavin Johnson in Oath merger as new leadership announced

AOL’s UK commercial director Gavin Johnson is leaving the online business

AOL’s UK commercial director Gavin Johnson is leaving the online business as it merges into joint Yahoo-AOL umbrella company Oath.

Johnson joined the business when AOL acquired Millennial Media in October 2015 and in February 2016 was promoted to lead the combined UK operation across AOL's brands such as HuffPost and Engadget, the Microsoft portfolio, the content division Partner Studios and the One by AOL programmatic stack.

Verizon announced plans to buy Yahoo for $4.83bn in June last year. The deal closed last month when new company Oath was formed - a merger of Verizon's content assets under AOL with Yahoo.

As part of the changes Nigel Clarkson, managing director UK of Yahoo, steps up to become managing director UK of Oath, while Stuart Flint, managing director UK of AOL, becomes the vice-president EMEA of Oath.

Johnson's role will be folded into Clarkson's responsibilities.

Furthermore, AOL's branded content division Partner Studios is being rebranded to RYOT Studios, taking its name from the virtual reality division acquired by AOL in April last year.

Mark Melling, formerly senior director of video and branded content for Europe at AOL, will lead the studio.

Johnson said: "It's been a privilege to lead the team as we have built such momentum in the marketplace. I sincerely wish everyone at AOL the very best for the future as the company steps into a new era."

Flint added: "Gavin has done an amazing job over the last 18 months combining the AOL, Microsoft and Millennial teams into a market leading team unit. His expertise, leadership and talent across our business will be sorely missed but we wish him well in the future".

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