Nearly three years ago former Yahoo senior VP Brad Garlinghouse caused a buzz when an internal memo he wrote criticizing the company for lacking “a focused, cohesive vision” leaked onto the Internets.

AOL logo.jpgHe left Yahoo and the web trench wars in August 2008, advising a VC firm in the interim. Now he’s back, this time with AOL, another Internet graybeard facing competitive challenges. From The Register:

AOL has hired ex-Yahooer! Brad Garlinghouse as president of its web and mobile communications division. …

In his new job, Garlinghouse will also run AOL’s Silicon Valley ops from its Mountain View, California site. Additionally, he takes on the West Coast lead for AOL Ventures, which is the company’s venture capital unit.

He will report directly to AOL boss Tim Armstrong, who has been beefing up his management team before parent company Time Warner cuts the firm loose later this year.

Garlinghouse’s 2006 memo quickly was dubbed the “Peanut Butter Manifesto” because of this passage:

I’ve heard our strategy described as spreading peanut butter across the myriad opportunities that continue to evolve in the online world. The result: a thin layer of investment spread across everything we do and thus we focus on nothing in particular.