- Oath CEO Tim Armstrong will step down in October.
- Oath president and COO Guru Gowrappan will assume the role of CEO October 1.
- Armstrong will stay on at the firm to help with transition until the end of 2018.
- Insiders say Verizon’s marriage of Yahoo and AOL was doomed from the start.
Tim Armstrong, the CEO of Verizon’s media and advertising business, Oath, will step down from his position in October, according to Verizon.
Effective October 1, Oath president and COO Guru Gowrappan, will assume the role of CEO and will report to Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg. Armstrong will stay on at the firm to help with transition until the end of 2018.
“Guru has proven experience in scaling businesses globally,” Vestberg said in a statement. “I’m thrilled he will lead Oath in an exciting new phase of growth, building on the foundation Tim and his team have created by delivering brands our customers love.”
Armstrong has been at Verizon since it acquired AOL in 2015. He helped shepherd the 2017 acquisition of Yahoo, which joined AOL to create Oath.
Verizon plans to integrate parts of Oath’s business into the larger company, sources close to the matter told Business Insider last week. Oath hosted a leadership retreat in August with 200 corporate staff on Yahoo’s Sunnyvale, California campus, and employees were told that corporate functions – including finance, HR, communications, legal, and IT – would move to Verizon, while product, engineers, and media will stay under Oath.
Verizon has not confirmed reports that an integration is underway. “We don’t comment on speculation and have no announcements to make,” Verizon said in a statement to Business Insider.
The integration between AOL and Yahoo has never been on solid footing, according to former senior AOL employees.
And as a result of the decision to integrate parts of the company’s business into Verizon and the expected departure of CEO Tim Armstrong, Oath’s executive leadership team is in flux, according to people close to the matter.
The company’s chief people officer, Bob Toohey, a longtime Armstrong confidant, departed last week, and its CFO, Vanessa Wittman, and chief communications officer, Natalie Ravitz, are planning to leave in the coming weeks.
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