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IBM Names Former AOL President Bob Lord as Chief Digital Officer

The former Razorfish CEO had been in contention to run AOL before it was sold to Verizon.

via Twitter

Computing giant IBM has tapped Bob Lord, a former president at AOL and the former CEO of the Web advertising firm Razorfish, as its chief digital officer.

News of the hiring appeared in a tweet from IBM’s David Kenny, the former chairman and CEO of The Weather Company, and currently general manager of Big Blue’s Watson cognitive-computing business unit. The news was announced internally on Friday.

In a statement circulated to IBM employees, the company said Lord will “accelerate and scale all aspects of IBM’s digital presence, operations and ecosystem,” and will run its its digital platform, digital sales and marketing and its developer ecosystem.

At AOL, Lord had been in contention to take over as CEO from Tim Armstrong. As president, Lord had pressed AOL to focus on automating its advertising technologies, and during his tenure the Internet company acquired several firms that played in that space.

Lord was the driving force behind AOL’s acquisitions of Millennial Media, the Web-personalization startup Gravity and Convertro, a startup focused on ad attribution.

Things changed course at AOL last May, when Armstrong sold the company to telecommunications giant Verizon for $4.4 billion. Lord left AOL six months later in a departure that sources described at the time as “tense.”

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