AOL chief executive Tim Armstrong tweeted that Verizon is combining AOL and Yahoo into a new unit called Oath. Sources say that Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer will not be part of the new company, which will be helmed by Armstrong. Given Yahoo’s hacking disasters and slumping business, Mayer’s departure was anticipated, but it is not clear whether she’ll receive her full payout, reportedly worth tens of millions. Sources also say Armstrong is now choosing which top Yahoo executives to retain.
Recode reports that, among those “likely to stay” is communications products head Jeff Bonforte, while Adam Cahan, who has run several units under Mayer, is likely to leave. Chief financial officer Ken Goldman is also leaving, “although on his own steam.” At risk are chief revenue officer Lisa Utzschneider and Enrique Muñoz Torres, head of advertising and search product and engineering.
Also unclear is whether the Yahoo brand will remain, although Recode says it “cannot imagine anyone dumping such a well-known global icon so easily, even if it has a new parent name.”
Bloomberg adds that Verizon’s deal to combine its AOL unit with Yahoo’s Internet assets is expected to close this summer, at which time Oath will be unveiled. What remains of Yahoo will be renamed Altaba, and will “include stakes in Asian assets not sold to Verizon, plus short-term debt investments, cash and a patent portfolio.”
Armstrong stated that, “the new unit will oversee more than 20 brands reaching more than a billion consumers.” In a statement, AOL said that, “In the summer of 2017, you can bet we will be launching one of the most disruptive brand companies in digital.” Verizon bought Yahoo’s assets for about $4.48 billion.