AOL CEO Tim Armstrong buys $10 million in company stock


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AOL Inc. Chief Executive Tim Armstrong is putting his money where his mouth is.

He has invested more than $10 million in 477,000 shares of his company’s stock, according to a Monday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. He bought the shares at an average price of $20.97 each on Friday. He nearly doubled his stake in the company to 4% after the stock dropped on news of AOL’s $315-million acquisition of online news and opinion site Huffington Post.

It was the largest acquisition for AOL since the former Google Inc. executive joined AOL in April 2009. Armstrong is betting that his turnaround strategy for AOL will eventually pay off. He is hoping that the additional traffic from Huffington Post will make AOL more appealing to advertisers. AOL has struggled since spinning off from Time Warner Inc. in December 2009, ending a troubled decade-long marriage.


Armstrong’s enthusiasm for AOL’s future as an online media powerhouse is not echoed by Wall Street analysts. AOL shares, which have dropped nearly 20% since November, on Monday closed up 2.9% at $21.83.

Armstrong told me in an interview in October: ‘AOL is playing offense. We believe we have the right strategy and we are executing against it heavily.’


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-- Jessica Guynn