AOL announced yesterday that Maureen Govern is now our ex-CTO. Her short tenure of just under 11 months spanned September 28, 2005, to August 21, 2006. She was brought in to “realign our technology resources to support the needs of our multiple businesses,” according to Jon Miller. Maureen affirms this saying, “All of this requires AOL to be on the leading edge of technology.”
If she was pressured to leave AOL yesterday over the search query data release, that is a very bad omen. For AOL, being risk-averse is a losing strategy. Punishing people for making innocent mistakes is a sure-fire way to only retain those risk-averse people. Those are not the kind of people who embody entreprenurial spirit–the kind of people who give AOL at least a fighting chance at launching products that might actually win in the marketplace.
It can take weeks to push the simplest of changes through our cumbersome development process. But, Maureen Govern’s “Who’s Who” page is already a 404. Go figure. (Yes, I understand it’s a simple copy change rather than delivering actual product functionality so it’s an unfair comparison, but it still highlights how AOL can react quickly, when needed.)
Wherever you are, wherever you go … Maureen, I wish you the best of luck. Keep doing what you think is best and right. It’s a pity things didn’t work out in your favor at AOL. Keep in touch, it’s a small world out there.