Google's Armstrong replaces Falco, Grant

NEW YORK — Time Warner has finally reshuffled the management team at AOL, showing Randy Falco and Ron Grant the door and naming Google senior VP Tim Armstrong chairman-CEO.

The conglom made the move late Thursday in a bid to stabilize the still-struggling unit, the source of angst since the disastrous 2000 merger of Time Warner and AOL.

Armstrong brings nine years of experience at Google, where he headed up the Web giant’s Americas operations, forming ties with major media and agency brands. Before that he worked at Snowball.com and for ABC/ESPN Internet Ventures, a joint effort of Disney and Starwave.

Falco, a longtime NBC exec with little Web experience, was a surprise pick for the top job in 2006. Grant, who had been senior VP of operations at Time Warner before shifting to AOL, was also criticized for being out of his element.

“Tim is the right executive to move AOL into the next phase of its evolution,” Time Warner topper Jeff Bewkes said in a statement. “At Google, Armstrong helped build one of the most successful media teams in the history of the Internet.”

Time Warner shares rose Thursday with the rest of the media sector, closing up 5% at $8.32.

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