AOL names Google ad guru CEO

Time Warner has appointed Google advertising chief Tim Armstrong as chairman and chief executive of its internet unit AOL.

Armstrong, currently senior vice president at Google, will replace Randy Falco who will leave the company with president and chief operating officer Ron Grant “after a transition period”, the company says.

He joined Google in 2000 and has been credited with driving the search engine’s online advertising business. He also sits on the board of the Interactive Advertising Bureau, the Advertising Council and the Advertising Research Foundation.

Jeff Bewkes, chairman and chief executive of Time Warner, calls Armstrong an “advertising pioneer”.

“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 for direct and brand marketers,” he says.

AOL has been struggling of late, reporting a 20% drop in annual revenue last year and announcing in January it is shed about 10% of its workforce. Some observers have suggested that AOL could be spun-off into a separate unit

Bewkes adds Armstrong will be “helpful in helping Time Warner determine the optimal structure for AOL.”

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