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All Change As Google VP Goes To Head Up AOL

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Beleaguered AOL is hoping a shakeup of top management might change its fortunes. So the company has named Tim Armstrong, a senior vice-president at Google, to replace Randy Falco, the current chairman and chief executive. As part of the change, AOL COO Ron Grant will also leave the company.

In a statement, Jeff Bewkes, head to AOL parent company Time Warner, said:

"Tim is the right executive to move AOL into the next phase of its evolution. At Google, Armstrong helped build one of the most successful media teams in the history of the internet. He’s an advertising pioneer with a stellar reputation and a proven track record."

Under Falco, AOL spent a lot of money, acquiring Bebo, among other things, but experienced a 50% drop in revenue and has begun shedding 10% of its workforce.

Google has a 5% stake in AOL, which it spent $1 billion to obtain in 2005. Just last month it exercised an option in its contract, forcing AOL to spin off from Time Warner or be forced to buy back Google’s stake.