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Former Google Executive Becomes AOL CEO

Tim Armstrong, Google's former senior vice president in charge of advertising sales in America has been appointed as the new Chairman and CEO of ailing web giant, AOL, in a bid to revive its fortunes.

Armstrong worked at Google for nine years before heading to AOL. In a statement, Jeff Bewkes, Chairman and CEO of Time Warner, AOL's parent company, stated that "Tim is the right executive to move AOL into the next phase of its evolution".

The next evolution, many experts understand, will be for Time Warner to prepare AOL for a potential spin-off in a bid to refocus on its more lucrative core activities. The company, one of the few survivors of the original dotcom bubble, only has 8000 employees on its payroll.

Over the last decade, it saw its shares price drop from nearly $250 to $8.11, a whopping 97 percent drop in price for a company that posted a near $100 billion loss back in 2002.

Armstrong is replacing two top AOL executives: current Chairman and CEO Randy Falco and Chief Operating Officer and President Ron Grant. AOL's change at the helm comes a few months after Yahoo, another Google competitor, replaced its CEO with Carol Bratz.

AOL's new CEO will be facing a number of questions, notably regarding his experience and capacity to manage and handle a company that was once the biggest media firm in the US. Like the founders of Google, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, both 35, Armstrong is only aged 38.

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Our Comments

A former colleague of Mr Armstrong told Henry Blodget of Business Insider that "He is the supreme combo of left

and right brain. Great product and sales vision. Anyone who craps on Tim has never worked with him. He was the ONLY sales/monetization person larry/sergey EVER respected." How will he fare when faced with his former Google partners, especially as the company acquired 5 percent of AOL for $1 billion.

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Désiré Athow
Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.