AOL recently made headlines by buying top-tier blogging site The Huffington Post in hopes of bolstering its content stable and attracting more advertising dollars; now, CEO Tim Armstrong is demonstrating his personal confidence in AOL’s future by doubling-down on his investment with the company. According to new SEC filings, Armstrong has purchased 477,000 additional shares of the company at $20.97 each, for a total buy of about $10 million. The purchase roughly double’s Armstrong’s personal stake in AOL to about $20 million, which equates to about a three percent share of the entire company.
Armstrong is working to turn the struggling Internet property from the former king of Internet access (at least in North America) to a content-drive and ad-supported collection of sites and services. However, so far AOL’s new content-based strategy hasn’t been paying off: the bulk of AOL’s revenues still come from its languishing dial-up and Internet access services. Armstrong, a former Google executive, is betting the company can become an online entertainment and media brand that attracts serious money from advertisers: the company’s $315 million acquisition of The Huffington Post—and installing Ariana Huffington as the editor for all AOL properties—is another major step in that plan.
So far in 2011, AOL’s shares are down about 10 percent, although Armstrong’s purchase appears to have had a buoying affect on the stock, at least in the short term.