AOL’s recently appointed chief executive, Tim Armstrong, has only been in place for three weeks but Wall Street is waiting impatiently for his next move. He’s started to shake up the ad team. Investors are focused on when parent company Time Warner will spin off the Internet unit, which has lost favor with Wall Street, advertisers and users alike.
Armstrong, gave his first interview since starting on April 1 to Ad Age Editor Jonah Bloom at the 4A’s advertising conference in San Francisco. Though he has declined doing interviews since he joined, AOL’s communications people said Armstrong was keeping a commitment he’d made while he still at Google.
The three-part interview can be seen at Ad Age here. The fireside chat covered topics like AOL’s branding, AOL’s undervalued ad space, and how Armstrong had to leave Google by the tradesman’s entrance on his last day.
Asked whether AOL’s standalone valuation could once again be worth $20 billion, which it theoretically was until Google wrote down its 5 percent stake in AOL to effectively give it a value of $5.5 billion in January, Armstrong said:
5.5 (billion) in my book is still a lot of money…I’ve said internally to employees Wall Street cares about you, and Main Street cares about you, and until we get Main Street caring about our company everyday (and) every time they touch the product and service, the valuation doesn’t matter because the worst case possible, the thing that happens at Internet companies is, you see, it is that people vote with their clicks and over time unique users go down.