×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Tim Armstrong to Exit as CEO of Verizon’s Oath

Other Oath execs departing include CFO Vanessa Wittman and chief communications officer Natalie Ravitz

Tim Armstrong, CEO of Verizon’s Oath digital-media division merging AOL and Yahoo, is set to leave the company in the next few weeks, sources confirmed to Variety.

Armstrong’s plans to leave Verizon were first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

Armstrong was previously CEO of AOL, which Verizon bought in a $4.4 billion deal, and he then led the formation of Oath after the telco acquired Yahoo for $4.5 billion last year. Armstrong had touted Oath as a large-scale digital media powerhouse — with more than 1 billion aggregate unique users globally — to take on Facebook and Google.

But Verizon’s appetite for the content business has from all appearances cooled since Oath’s creation. The company named Han Vestberg, the ex-CEO of Ericsson hired at CTO in 2017, as its new chief executive as of Aug. 1 — a move signaling Verizon’s focus on wireless infrastructure and its 5G rollouts in particular. Vestberg took the helm from Lowell McAdam, set to retire at the end of 2018, who had overseen the rollup of AOL and Yahoo.

Meanwhile, Verizon this summer shut down Go90, its ad-supported mobile-video service, taking a $900 million hit against Q2 earnings mostly related to the Go90 shuttering. Verizon, along with co-owners NBCUniversal and Hearst, also sold its stake in Awesomeness to Viacom.

Popular on Variety

Along with Armstrong, two other Oath execs are set to depart in the next month, according to sources: CFO Vanessa Wittman, who joined the company in early 2018 after previously serving as chief financial officer at Dropbox, Motorola, and Marsh & McLennan; and chief communications officer Natalie Ravitz, who joined Oath in May from the NFL.

A Verizon spokeswoman declined to comment on or confirm the imminent exits of Armstrong, Wittman and Ravitz.

For now, Oath COO Guru Gowrappan — whom Armstrong recruited in April — is remaining with the Verizon unit. Gowrappan previously was managing director at Alibaba Group, the Chinese internet giant.

The shakeup in Oath’s executive ranks also comes after Marni Walden, formerly Verizon’s EVP and president of global media, stepped down at the end of 2017 after it became clear she was not in contention for the CEO job at the telco. Walden had been the key architect of the company’s acquisition of Yahoo and the formation of Oath.

More Digital

  • Richie Mehta in Macao

    Richie Mehta Advances Macao Project 'The Price of Tea'

    After winning six prizes on Friday with his “Delhi Crime” series, Canadian-Indian director Richie Mehta is again making film project “The Price of Tea,” which was previously pitched in Macau, as his top priority. Having attended the International Film Festival & Awards Macao’s project market with “Tea” in 2017, Mehta is back this year on [...]

  • Billy Magnussen Aladdin

    'Aladdin' Spinoff With Billy Magnussen's Character in the Works for Disney Plus

    Disney is developing a spinoff of its live-action “Aladdin” with Billy Magnussen reprising his Prince Anders character. The unnamed project is in early development for the studio’s recently launched Disney Plus streaming service. Disney has hired Jordan Dunn and Michael Kvamme to write a script centered on the haughty Prince Anders, one of Princess Jasmine’s [...]

  • Bernie Sanders Trump win

    Bernie Sanders Vows to Break Up Comcast, Verizon & AT&T: 'Their Greed Must End'

    Vermont Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders unveiled plans to launch publicly-funded broadband networks and break up big internet providers like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T Thursday. “Their greed must end,” the Sanders campaign wrote in its high-speed internet policy proposal. The campaign argued that high-speed internet access should be treated as a public utility, [...]

  • The Office

    Streaming Wars Heat Up Rerun Market as New Services Stock Up on Hits

    In a year in which more than 500 scripted series are on the air and new streaming services seem to debut nearly monthly, some of the biggest money being thrown around for content has gone to a handful of old TV shows, the kind that for years have hummed along evening television without much fuss. [...]

  • The Irishman

    'The Irishman' Nabs 17.1 Million U.S. Viewers on Netflix in First Five Days, per Nielsen

    Martin Scorsese’s mafia saga “The Irishman” was watched by 17.1 million unique Netflix viewers in the U.S. in the first five days of its streaming release, according to Nielsen estimates. By comparison, Sandra Bullock-starrer “Bird Box” scored nearly 26 million U.S. viewers in its first seven days of availability (Dec. 21-27, 2018) on Netflix, according [...]

  • Amazon, HBO Max, Netflix Dish on

    Amazon, HBO Max, Netflix Dish on Their International Plans

    It’s different strokes for different streaming folks as Amazon, HBO Max and Netflix lifted the lid on their international plans in London this week. Amazon said it’s not in the volume game and talked up a select number of hyper-local shows, while Netflix dished on plans to rev up non-English-language originals. The message from HBO [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content