Oath CEO Tim Armstrong In Discussions To Depart Verizon: Reports


Tim Armstrong, leader of Verizon media and advertising subsidiary Oath, could leave the company as soon as next month as Oath struggles to grow, according to new reports published Friday.

Armstrong came to Verizon in 2015 when the Basking Ridge, N.J.-based carrier acquired AOL for $4.4 billion. Armstrong was also instrumental in helping the carrier buy Yahoo in 2017 for $4.48 billion. Later that year, Armstrong was named CEO of Verizon’s Oath, a subsidiary housing Verizon's digital content businesses, including AOL and Yahoo.

Since the deals closed, Armstrong has been working to try to combine the two internet companies to challenge digital media rivals Google and Facebook, but those efforts haven't much moved the needle.

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Verizon's former CEO, Lowell McAdam, said in January that the carrier would rely on its next-generation technologies and its Oath media business to compete in the telecommunications market, but by Verizon's most recent quarterly earnings call in July, revenue generated by Oath stayed flat at $1.9 billion.

Verizon, now under the leadership of its new CEO, Hans Vestberg, Verizon's former president of global networks and CTO, has since said it's focused on bolstering its strong wireless network and next-generation networking technologies, including 5G, as opposed to competing in the media space.

A report by the Wall Street Journal, citing sources familiar with the matter, said that Armstrong is in talks with the carrier to depart and could leave by the end of next month.

A spokesperson for Verizon told CRN that the carrier doesn't comment on speculation and has no announcements to make regarding reports suggesting that Armstrong is preparing to leave Verizon.

As Oath struggled to gain traction, reports surfaced in May that said Armstrong was being considered to lead British advertising conglomerate WPP.

Earlier this summer, reports also suggested that Verizon was considering spinning off Oath. As of now, however, the business unit resides squarely within Verizon's own portfolio.

Armstrong is no stranger to the tech industry. The longtime executive was CEO of AOL Inc. from 2009 until its purchase by Verizon in 2015. Prior to his role with AOL, Armstrong was a U.S. sales chief for Google, and later. president of Google America's operation.