Tim Armstrong To Exit As CEO Of Verizon’s Oath As New Leader Steps Up


Tim Armstrong is officially out as CEO of Oath, Verizon's digital media and advertising subsidiary, the carrier announced Wednesday.

The confirmation from Verizon comes just days after reports surfaced that Armstrong could leave the company as soon as next month as Oath struggles to gain traction in the market.

Guru Gowrappan, who previously served as Oath’s president and COO since April, will assume all management responsibilities as CEO of Oath, effective Oct. 1, according to a statement released by Verizon.

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Gowrappan will report directly to new CEO Hans Vestberg, Verizon's former president of global networks and CTO. Vestberg has said that under his leadership, the carrier will be focused on building out its strong wireless network and next-generation networking technologies, including 5G.

“Since [Gowrappan] joined Oath earlier this year as chief operating officer, [he has] been leading the products, technology, engineering and sales operations. I’m thrilled Guru will lead Oath into the future as we continue to deliver brands our customers love,” Vestberg said in an email to Verizon employees.

Verizon said that Armstrong will help guide Oath's management transition efforts as a strategic adviser before leaving the company at the end of 2018. Armstrong will report to Verizon Chairman and former CEO Lowell McAdam.

“We are exceedingly grateful to [Armstrong] for his contributions in founding Oath as a force in digital media and technology,” McAdam said in a statement. “With his continued guidance over the next few months, our enthusiasm for Oath’s potential has never been greater.”

Armstrong came to Verizon in 2015 by way of acquisition when the Basking Ridge, N.J.-based carrier scooped up AOL for $4.4 billion. Armstrong was also instrumental in helping the carrier buy Yahoo in 2017 for $4.48 billion. Armstrong, AOL's former CEO, was named CEO of the Verizon Oath business unit, which was comprised of Verizon's digital content businesses, including its AOL and Yahoo properties.

Armstrong spent the last year integrating both AOL and Yahoo operations into Oath and has been trying to position the digital media business unit to compete against the likes of Google and Facebook, but Oath has failed to pick up steam against its rivals.

Gowrappan came to Verizon this past April from Chinese cloud giant Alibaba, where he served as global managing director, focused on international expansion for both consumer and enterprise products across e-commerce, entertainment and media, and payments.