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Posted at 1:02 PM ET, 02/ 7/2011

Ken Lerer, chairman of Huffington Post, steps down

By Melissa Bell
ken lerer
Co founders of the Huffington Post Kenneth Lerer and Arianna Huffington in Oct., 2010. (Louis Lanzano/AP)

After every company merger, two questions burn up the hallways of the two combining companies: who goes and who stays. The first answer after the AOL and Huffington Post merger comes today. Ken Lerer, Huffington Post chairman and co-founder, will be stepping down as chairman.

"He will continue to be an advisor and our friend," Mario Ruiz, the spokesman for Huffington Post said in a phone interview.

Lerer was the integral financial force in getting the Huffington Post off the ground and he played a large role in guiding the content in the site's early days. Although he backed away from day-to-day operations a couple years ago to start his own venture fund, he's considered the wizard behind the curtain at Huffington Post.

In the close-knit world of the media, Lerer also has a deep connection to AOL where he was formerly an executive vice president of the company.

Reached by phone, Lerer said he has only been involved with "big picture stuff," since leaving for his private fund and he expects he'll have a similar role in the new merger, just without the chairman title. He will no longer have a financial investment in the company.

"It's a win-win for both companies. For AOL it's an acceleration of their current strategy," Lerer said. "Huffington Post will continue to do the same work, just on a much bigger platform."

By Melissa Bell  | February 7, 2011; 1:02 PM ET
Categories:  The Daily Catch  
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