AOL CEO Tim Armstrong isn’t bothered that he has a new boss. Instead, he’s happy that he has more time for work.
“For me the most enjoyable thing about the Verizon deal personally is that I can do more work,” Armstrong said on stage at Code/Mobile in Half Moon Bay, California on Wednesday.
Verizon bought AOL in May 2015 in a $US4.4 billion deal. For the wireless carrier, it was a media play so it could bring on AOL and its brands like Huffington Post, Engadget and TechCrunch.
“The media opportunity for them is to build something on top of Verizon and bring it to other carriers,” Armstrong said, explaining the deal.
For Armstrong, a “game-changer” part of the deal was how he gets to spend his time. Being a public company, Armstrong had to spend about 30 per cent of his time in what he called “ancillary meetings,” as a result. Once again private, Armstrong can re-focus the company and his schedule without dealing with the needs of the public market.
“For me, the most enjoyable thing about the Verizon deal personally is that I can do more work,” Armstrong said.
He starts every morning with an 8 a.m. executive call for product updates. Monday is reserved for more internal things while Tuesday is for partnership and product meetings. The rest of the week is reserved for being on the the road seeing partners and visiting M&A targets. He’s particularly interested in video and machine areas, he said.
The Verizon deal, though, wasn’t just about giving Armstrong a break from being a public company CEO. Instead, he had five targets for how he wanted to advance the company: mobile, video, ad tech, data, and talent — and Verizon brought too much to the table to miss a chance.
“There was no way we could turn down the Verizon offer,” Armstrong said.