By Sahil Patel
In May, Verizon announced its intentions to acquire AOL for $4.4 billion, citing the digital-media giant’s capabilities in video and advertising technology as a primary reason for the merger. Now completed, the deal makes AOL a wholly owned subsidiary of Verizon, with AOL shares no longer trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
Per the terms, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong will remain at the company and will continue to lead all AOL operations. His oversight will now also include Verizon Digital Media Services, a group that focuses on building and using “world-class technology” to help companies prepare, deliver, and display digital content including video, apps, web pages, mobile ads, and live events across screens, according to Verizon. As a result, VDMS president Bob Toohey will now report to Armstrong.
Armstrong, meanwhile, will now report to Marni Walden, Verizon’s EVP and president of product innovation and new businesses.
There is some speculation that Verizon’s acquisition of AOL spells the end of AOL’s ownership of its content businesses such as The Huffington Post. Both Verizon and AOL have repeatedly said this is not the case, and they have no intentions — at least at the moment — to spin-off any of the content units. In fact, in today’s announcement, an AOL spokesperson noted how Verizon will boost AOL’s ability to deliver a “content platform” that features content from AOL, its brands, and media partners seamlessly across devices.