/// Yahoo Attempts to Poach AOL Ad Chief Brody to Lead U.S. Sales, Setting Up Possible Legal Battle
In an unusual hiring for a top advertising role, Yahoo has made an offer to AOL’s top sales exec Ned Brody to take over as head of its North American sales, according to sources close to the situation. Brody has already resigned from AOL, said sources, where he headed AOL Networks — which used to be called the Advertising.com. It hawks premium display, video and mobile network ads for the Web portal. It is not clear if he has officially taken the job at Yahoo, but it seems likely given the terms, which includes a lucrative salary. More interestingly, sources said that because Brody has a 12-month, non-compete agreement with AOL that the Silicon Valley Internet giant — as part of the deal it is close to striking with him — will pay him to not work in that period. Sources close to both companies said AOL has already informed Yahoo that it might face a legal challenge to hiring Brody, because of the way it might attempt to subvert the 12-month non-compete. Because of big Yahoo offer, AOL did not make a counter-offer to keep him. These kind of fights over ad sales execs have happened before. For example, Microsoft mulled a legal challenge of Facebook’s hiring of Carolyn Everson , for example, a tense battle that was later settled . The attractive terms offered to Brody underscore the difficulty that Yahoo has had in filling the slot, which has been open since former U.S. head Ross Levinsohn left the company a year ago. Top ad duties have been shared by Mark Ellis , VP of North American sales and global partnerships (as well as a former AOLer) and Peter Foster, who is VP of solutions development and MMD sales.