Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Tiny Tim Takes Over AOL–But Does He Have Big Plans?

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This is just too cute to pass up. Apparently, some staffers at AOL are using a teeny-weeny cartoon–seen here–of new CEO Tim Armstrong as the icon on their instant messaging program.

It was apparently made for Armstrong by AOL’s owner, Time Warner (TWX).

Sorry it’s so little, but the picture gets blurry if made larger.

The strapping-in-real-life former Google (GOOG) advertising head took over AOL unexpectedly two weeks ago, after its two leaders, CEO Randy Falco and President Ron Grant, were shown the door.

Since he got the job, the big version of Armstrong has been busy making the rounds, even though he does not officially start until April 7.

25_armstrong

But Armstrong (pictured here in non-superhero form), many sources said, has been talking up many current and former AOLers–many from its glory days–to learn as much as he can about what he needs to do to force the once-mighty online icon back to relevance.

He’ll likely start with a spinoff of the service, and sooner than later, especially if the stock market continues to not tank so much.

Of course, to make the most of that, it’ll take a bolder strategy from Armstrong than just selling more advertising, getting a better search deal, adding more content and creating new social-networking widgets.

In fact, here’s a free tip for Armstrong from someone who has watched the slow-moving AOL train wreck for far too long: Think much, much bigger than a tiny Tim does.

More on that, soon…


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— Valleywag editor Sam Biddle