Ex-Google Executive to Lead AOL, Says Time Warner

 
 
By Nicholas Kolakowski  |  Posted 2009-03-13 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Time Warner announced that ex-Google executive Tim Armstrong, who served as president of Google's Americas Operations, will become the new chairman and CEO of AOL. In 2008, AOL's annual revenue fell 20 percent, and the company plans to lay off roughly 10 percent of its work force.

Former Google executive Tim Armstrong will become the new chairman and CEO of AOL, said AOL's parent company Time Warner in a statement issued on March 12.

Armstrong, who was a member of Google's Operating Committee and served as president of the search giant's Americas Operations, will replace AOL Chairman and CEO Randy Falco, who is stepping down along with President and Chief Operating Officer Ron Grant.

"At Google, Armstrong helped build one of the most successful media teams in the history of the Internet-helping to make Google the most popular online search advertising platform in the world," Time Warner Chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes said in a statement. "He's an advertising pioneer with a stellar reputation and proven track record."

AOL is likely hoping that Armstrong, a key player in developing Google's ad business after joining the company in 2000, will help reverse its fortunes. In 2008, AOL's annual revenue fell 20 percent, to $4.2 billion, off softness in its ad and subscriber business. The company recently announced that it will lay off around 10 percent of its global work force, or roughly 700 people; on March 11, it announced that its China offices will be shuttered.   

"AOL has a wide-ranging set of assets and audience. The company is well-positioned to enhance those assets into a larger share of the Internet audience and advertiser communities," Armstrong said in a statement. "AOL and Google have been partners for years, and I look forward to collaborating with Jeff Bewkes and his team as we explore the right structure and future for AOL."

Despite the decline in its core businesses, AOL has done some large-scale maneuvering over the past year.

In March 2008, the company agreed to acquire social network Bebo for $850 million, placing it in a position to boost its ad revenue strategy.

In February 2009, AOL announced that it was joining Microsoft and other industry players in fighting the spread of the Conficker worm.

 


 
 
 
 
Nicholas Kolakowski is a staff editor at eWEEK, covering Microsoft and other companies in the enterprise space, as well as evolving technology such as tablet PCs. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Playboy, WebMD, AARP the Magazine, AutoWeek, Washington City Paper, Trader Monthly, and Private Air. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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