AOL taps exec who famously warned Yahoo of trouble

September 8, 2009 By RACHEL METZ , AP Technology Writer

(AP) -- AOL LLC has tapped former Yahoo Inc. executive Brad Garlinghouse for a key position that is meant to beef up the struggling Internet company's presence in Silicon Valley.

Garlinghouse, 38, might be best known for calling attention to significant problems at Yahoo in a 2006 internal memo that was referred to as the "peanut butter manifesto" because it argued the Internet company had spread itself too thin.

Since then, Yahoo has changed CEOs twice as it has tried to nail down the best formula for keeping chase with Google Inc. in the online advertising market. Its latest leader, , was hired partly to sharpen the company's focus, and recently sealed a pact with Microsoft Corp.

Garlinghouse said Monday he's been cheered to see the changes Bartz has wrought at Yahoo.

Though AOL - which is getting ready to be spun off from Time Warner Inc. - is based in New York, Garlinghouse was due to start Tuesday at the company's offices in Mountain View, Calif., where AOL's operations are based. He will be responsible for increasing the use of AOL's e-mail, instant messaging and mobile offerings. He also will be expected to help AOL identify West Coast startups to invest in.

Garlinghouse spent more than five years at Yahoo, beginning in 2003. After leaving as a senior vice president, he became a senior adviser at Silver Lake Partners, a private equity firm.

AOL CEO Tim Armstrong, a former Inc. executive who joined the company in April, said in an interview that Garlinghouse was hired because he is "deeply steeped" in the Internet.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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