Patch CEO Jon Brod Steps Down
Jon Brod, the CEO of AOL’s local content website Patch.com, is stepping down. He will be replaced by Patch.com COO and president Steve Kalin. Brod is going to run AOL Ventures going forward. AOL Ventures is AOL’s venture capital arm. Patch.com is also laying off less than 3% of their 1,400 employee count. Several parts of Patch.com will also be consolidated. The company’s is restructuring their regional teams from 20 to 9.
AOL is making the layoffs as part of an effort to “make Patch profitable in 2013 and a commitment to continue to improve our business model” according to a leaked memo caught by AllThingsD. Patch’s traffic is up 26% according to comScore since last year at 13 million unique monthly visitors. AOL acquired Patch.com in June 2009 for around $7 million.
Patch.com was originally founded by Tim Armstrong (now the AOL CEO), Warren Webster, and Jon Brod in 2007. Armstrong came up with the idea for the website when he realized that there was a lack of information online about his hometown, Riverside, Connecticut. When AOL was acquiring Patch.com, Armstrong recused himself from negotiations to acquire the company and he said that he did not directly profit from his seed investment in the company. He asked that his seed money be returned to him in the form of AOL stock after the company split from Time Warner.
After AOL split from Time Warner in late 2010, the company announced that they were going to invest $50 million or more into the Patch.com network. Brod became the President of AOL Ventures and the company’s Local & Mapping division following the acquisition. Warren Webster became the president of Patch after the acquisition.