Yesterday’s announcement that AOL is replacing its CEO, Randy Falco and COO, Ron Grant, after a transition period is no real surprise. Speculation about this change has been rampant for some time. The real issue revolves around the announcement that AOL snagged Tim Armstrong, Google’s head of ad sales to become chairman and CEO of AOL. Armstrong has been with Google virtually from the beginning. AOL obviously hopes he will be a game changer for the firm. It is hard to see besides the possibility that he relishes a sisyphean challenge what Armstrong sees in his new position. AOL is in need of so much change even a player with the talents of Armstrong faces a real uphill struggle to make AOL a going concern again.
Time Warner intends to spin off AOL at some point, they have already made that known. While I am very impressed with the fact that AOL snagged such a powerhouse as Armstrong, I remain skeptical about what even he can do. For the moment the selection is a positive for AOL and Time Warner but long term it will be tough slogging ahead.
Stay tuned this is going to be very interesting.