Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

You've Got Tim Armstrong!–His Entire First Email to AOL Staff

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BoomTown has a feeling that the very friendly new AOL CEO and Chairman, Tim Armstrong, is not going to waste his time chasing down and threatening to drop-kick leakers into outerspace.

At least I hope he has better things to do! Like, you know, turning around the troubled Time Warner (TWX) online unit.

So here is his first memo to AOL staffers, leaked to me. (Don’t go all Bartz on me, Tim, because it won’t work anyway!)

Last week, in a surprise move, the former Google (GOOG) advertising honcho was picked to replace ousted CEO Randy Falco, as well as President and COO Ron Grant, by Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes.

(Here’s a link to an interview I did with Armstrong last Thursday about the new job.)

Armstrong did not waste his time taking over, although he does not start until April 7, penning a short-but-sweet email to AOL employees world-wide.

Here it is, in its entirety:

From: Tim Armstrong
To: US Employees; Intl Employees
Sent: Friday, March 13, 2009 9:24:54 AM
Subject: Hello AOLers

Hello AOLers -

I’m really looking forward to seeing you and would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions on how to make AOL and its sister properties the most powerful brands on the Internet.

My experience online started with AOL and I’ve followed the progress of the company for many years. From the early days of AIM and ICQ to the modern technology of Platform-A, AOLers are responsible for some of the most important innovations on the Internet. Although others might see challenges at AOL, I see opportunity and people who are passionate about making great products and services for consumers. My thanks to Randy and Ron for the work they’ve done to position AOL for the future.

I hope to meet as many of you as possible in Dulles and New York sometime next week, and I look forward with great enthusiasm to starting at AOL in early April. Go AOL.

- TA


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work