On the one hand, his departure isn't very surprising. AOL insiders say hasn't had a practical job at AOL for months now.
On the other hand, it's a surprise because Brod has floated between jobs at AOL several times in the past.
Brod is one of AOL CEO Tim Armstrong's oldest friends.
Before Armstrong joined AOL, Brod managed his money.
When Armstrong had an idea for a local news startup, he put Brod in charge of it. That company became Patch.
When, at the end of 2008, Time Warner wanted to hire Armstrong to become CEO of its not yet spun-out online division, AOL, Armstrong said he would only take the job if Time Warner would acquired Patch.
Then, in the middle of 2009, AOL acquired Patch and Brod with it.
Armstrong put Brod back in charge of managing money. He put Brod at the head of a group called AOL Ventures, along with another venture capitalist named Mike Brown.
AOL Ventures became something of a big deal in the New York VC community. Brown gets most of the credit around. Partly thats because Brod quickly began working on other things at AOL. First he was put in charge of integrating Huffington Post into AOL. Then, in 2011, he was asked to save Patch.
Neither job really took. The AOL-HuffPo integration was a historically rough one, and Armstrong removed Brod from Patch earlier this year and put him back at the top of AOL Ventures.
By then, though, there wasn't much to run at AOL Ventures. Brown left, and there wasn't money to invest.
So for the past frew months, Brod has been at AOL without much of a job to do.
Now, according to Kafka, Brod has found a gig. It's just not at AOL.
It's pure speculation, but…Given Brod's relationship with Armstrong, we wouldn't be surprised if that startup is backed by some of the AOL CEO's personal wealth.
For the whole story behind Patch and Tim Armstrong's struggle to save AOL, read "THE COST OF WINNING: Tim Armstrong, Patch, And The Struggle To Save AOL."
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