Twitter founder to join Huffington Post

Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter, is to join the Huffington Post as the new media firm adds big names to its roster following its $315-million takeover by AOL.

Stone, who will keep his job at Twitter, will act as “strategic adviser for social impact” and will work across the Huffington Post Media Group and the rest of AOL’s assets. The company said Stone would be working to develop a platform to help people share their work in their local community. He will also create a video series about people and companies at the “forefront of philanthropy and corporate responsibility”.

The news comes days after AOL announced it will cut 900 jobs, 20% of its workforce, as it struggles to compete for advertising with Google and Facebook and continues to lose paying subscribers. The sackings include 200 US jobs in content production.

Last month AOL announced a 26% drop in revenues as its dial-up internet access business continues to decline and ad sales failed to make up the difference. Advertising revenue fell 29% in the last reported quarter compared to a 30% rise at Google. Chief executive Tim Armstrong said 2011 would be “the year we stop working on the turnaround and start working on the comeback”.

Armstrong has said his strategy is to concentrate on content and in February he made his boldest move to date buying the Huffington Post. Its founder Arianna Huffington now heads all of AOL’s editorial operations and has already moved to recruit bigger names. Eleven new recruits were announced this week including former New York Times and Los Angeles Times editor John Montorio, who will be culture and entertainment editor, and Howard Fineman, a former analyst for NBC and MSNBC, who will become editorial director of the group.

Stone said: “The definition of success is changing as we begin to understand the value of helping others. Arianna and Tim share my vision for aligning corporate resources toward meaningful change.” He said his goal in teaming up with AOL was to “rally companies to think about new ways of doing business, share best practices, and strive for positive impact at all levels – from global to local.”

Huffington said: “Since one of our key goals is to explore and spotlight innovative ways that our company — as well as others — can do good, I’m thrilled that Biz Stone will be our strategic partner in this important endeavour.” – guardian.co.uk

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