Verizon: Doing What Telcos Do

November 5, 2018

Sometimes it is still hard to believe that Yahoo and AOL are now owned by the same company. What is even harder to believe is that Verizon owns all of them. Verizon, AOL, and Yahoo are in for an upset, because the San Francisco Gate reports, “Head Of Verizon’s AOL, Yahoo To Depart.”

Tim Armstrong is replacing its media and advertising with Oath President and COO Guru Gowrappan will assume the position on October 1. Armstrong will remain with Verizon until the end of the year and will act as a strategic advisor.

We learned that Gowrappen has an interesting background:

“Gowrappan joined Verizon in April and before that was global managing director of Chinese e-commerce behemoth Alibaba. Armstrong was tasked with growing Verizon’s ad business in a challenge to Facebook and Google, but that business remains one of Verizon’s less profitable divisions. Armstrong came to Verizon when it bought AOL in 2015 and began overseeing Yahoo when Verizon bought it in 2017.”

Armstrong apparently has failed to “patch” up AOL and Yahoo as a rival to Google and Facebook. Perhaps it is a thankless task, but Beyond Search does not think this former Baby Bell would think AOL and Yahoo thoughts without the former Googler’s inputs, PowerPoints, and positive cheers.

Now Verizon has a couple of email services and some ageing online services. Yahoo seemed like a contender when it had Yahoo Groups, chatrooms, and even auctions, but these fizzled as social media and Amazon moved with purpose. AOL remained in the dial up era when compared to zippy new services like Instagram.

Verizon will have to work some Bell magic to give these services a chance in today’s online marketplace.

Whitney Grace, November 5, 2018


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