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AOL Chief Operating Officer Minson Will Depart

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Feb. 28 (Bloomberg) -- AOL Inc. Chief Operating Officer Arthur Minson will depart the business after a transition period as Susan Lyne, a board member, takes over responsibility for brands such as MapQuest, TechCrunch and Moviefone.

Minson has held various roles at the company since 2004 and became chief financial officer in 2009 as AOL separated from former parent Time Warner Inc. Lyne, the former chairman of Gilt Groupe Inc., will remain vice chairman of that company, AOL said today in a statement.

Tim Armstrong, AOL’s chief executive officer since the spinoff, has struggled to keep top managers as he seeks to turn around the company. Minson’s exit follows the departures of technology chief Alex Gounares and mobile head David Temkin, who left last year, and Brad Garlinghouse, the former head of AOL’s Silicon Valley operations, who resigned in 2011.

“I came back to AOL three and a half years ago with the goal of returning AOL to being a growth company,” Minson said in the statement. “With that accomplished, I have decided to stay and continue to work closely with Tim during this transition period. I look forward to AOL’s continued success.”

Minson was promoted to COO in June and given the task of reorganizing the company’s operations into a consumer-products group that includes the Internet-access business and e-mail service; content brands, including Huffington Post and TechCrunch; and Advertising.com, its business-to-business advertising group.

Lyne won’t oversee AOL’s Huffington Post site, which will continue to be run by founder Arianna Huffington, who reports directly to Armstrong, said Caroline Campbell, an AOL spokeswoman.

Since AOL separated from Time Warner, Armstrong has worked to transform the company from an Internet-service provider into an ad-based content provider. Earlier this month, AOL posted its first sales gain in eight years.

AOL fell 3 percent to $36.90 at the close in New York. The stock has gained 25 percent this year, compared with a 6.2 percent increase for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

To contact the reporter on this story: Douglas MacMillan in San Francisco at dmacmillan3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net

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