Lynda Clarizio

Platform A

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It was more than just a promotion. When AOL's Lynda Clarizio leaped from president of to president of Platform A last March, she became possibly the pre-eminent woman in digital advertising. is part of Platform A, the world's largest online ad network. Ms. Clarizio's new duties include not only oversight and operation of that network but also the responsibility of reshaping AOL as an advertising business rather than an internet-access business.

The former lawyer, a graduate of Princeton and Harvard Law School, is now in charge of businesses ranging from to behavioral-advertising outfit Tacoda to other newly acquired ad operations including Third Screen Media and Lightningcast.

She's not only survived but thrived in an environment laced with culture clashes associated with mergers and big corporate entities.

"The challenge with me, right now, is that I'm president of Platform A and responsible for all of AOL, for our own business to the ads sold in the third-party network. My biggest challenge is to grow and effectively operate the businesses as one," says Ms. Clarizio, 47, who reports directly to AOL President-Chief Operating Officer Ron Grant. "My first strategy is to have a clear vision and move quickly."

Part of her task has been to create a single team each for sales, marketing, technology, operations and publisher services at Platform A and move the operation from Dulles, Va., to New York.

The restructuring has involved everything from changing logos to compensation plans and integrating the best products across the whole company.

She also has implemented a spot marketplace to allow digital-ad buyers to pick up unsold ads across Platform A on a cost-per-thousand basis.

"Lynda Clarizio is a natural leader -- enthusiastic, determined, smart, sophisticated. She has an unmatched understanding of the digital advertising business, and she gets results," Mr. Grant says.

"At the helm of, she drove that business to new heights. And she's quickly made her imprint on our Platform A ad business."

The daughter of Italian immigrants, Ms. Clarizio grew up in Verona, N.J., and later practiced law at one of Washington's leading firms, Arnold & Porter.

She had a bird's-eye view of the marriage of Time Warner and America Online, having worked on the deal back in 1999.
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