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Verizon says CEO of Oath — which contains AOL and Yahoo — is stepping down

Verizon says CEO of Oath — which contains AOL and Yahoo — is stepping down
Tim Armstrong, shown in 2009, was chief executive of AOL when Verizon bought his company in 2015. (Richard Drew / Associated Press)

A top Verizon executive who has struggled in trying to turn the telecom giant into an advertising rival to Google and Facebook is being replaced next month and intends to leave altogether by the end of the year.

Tim Armstrong, who was the chief executive of AOL when Verizon bought his company in 2015, was responsible for leading Oath, the Verizon subsidiary that contains AOL and Yahoo.

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Armstrong will be succeeded Oct. 1 by K. Guru Gowrappan, Oath's president and chief operating officer, Verizon said Wednesday. Armstrong will take an advisory role at Verizon to guide the leadership transition before ultimately departing by year's end, the company said.

The announcement comes just a year after Verizon completed its acquisition of Yahoo in an attempt to create a digital advertising giant that could take on Silicon Valley behemoths. Its aim was to use behavioral data from internet users to sell highly targeted ads, particularly on videos.

But the company has faced difficulty gaining traction. This year, it shut down its fledgling proprietary video app, Go90, which sought out young audiences with short, shareable clips. And reports last week suggested Verizon was having trouble gathering the type of user data it needed to create a more competitive advertising business.

"We are exceedingly grateful to Tim for his contributions in founding Oath as a force in digital media and technology," Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam said in a statement. "With his continued guidance over the next few months, our enthusiasm for Oath's potential has never been greater."

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