When Arianna Huffington's freelance empire found a new home at AOL, she walked away with $21 million dollars—on the unlikely expectation her unwieldy site would triple its revenue, exploding into profitability. The Smoking Gun got its hands on the full terms of the deal.
About $3 million of Arianna's cut came in the form of stock options, and concerns over what her departure from the profit-strapped company would mean are clear:
What's also clear is AOL's immense confidence in HuffPo's growth over the past couple of years:
Huffington Post is expected to generate approximately $60 million in Revenue and $10 million in EBITDA in 2011, growing to $165 million in Revenue and $58 million in EBITDA by 2013.
That's a huge jump in anticipated revenue—though in reality, business has been so bad at HuffPo that the two have considered ending their relationship. AOL doesn't break out the specific performance of Huffington Post within its "Brand Group," which includes titles like AOL.com and TechCrunch. But given that the entire division's revenues grew only 12% for the first half of this year, the precipitous spike expected by AOL a couple years ago seems unlikely—and even more unlikely that HuffPo led the charge.
Read the memo in full below: