AOL CEO Tim Armstrong's Great Timing Bolting Google

Hiring Google ad sales boss Tim Armstrong to be AOL’s CEO was a bold, splashy move by Time Warner (TWX) CEO Jeff Bewkes.

And it was great timing for Tim!

We’ll see how things play out, but right now, it seems Tim’s selling near the top.

At Google, Tim oversaw the division that experienced the majority of yesterday’s layoffs.  In a memo to this group, Tim wrote:

“We’ve grown very quickly, and not always in the most efficient ways. We’ve ended up with overlapping organisations that duplicate effort in a number of areas, and this means that we cannot be as effective as we need to be in this economic environment.”

Not exactly the kind of paragraph you’d want to include on a resume cover letter, right?

Here are some other Google failures that could have been pinned on Tim, if he wasn’t already onto a new gig:

  • Google’s suddenly slowing revenue growth
  • Google’s failed print advertising business
  • Google’s failed radio advertising business
  • Google’s failed TV advertising
  • Google’s going-nowhere “Dashboard” 

After Tim leaves and as Google continues to scramble around for another big growth engine, we expect the company will begin to lay some of this at Tim’s feet.  But, by then, it will sound like sour grapes.  Tim made a smart move at the right time.  And he’s leaving Google’s growth problem to Dennis Woodside.

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