AOL's Longtime PR Head, Primrose, Steps Down

Tricia Primrose, AOL’s long-serving communications head, is stepping down from her job, according to a memo sent out by CEO Tim Armstrong to staff. The move is personal, related to her family, according to the memo. Except for BoomTown’s record run, Primrose is unusual in the length of her tenure and number of AOL exec administrations she has survived, including Steve Case and Bob Pittman, Jon Miller, Randy Falco and Ron Grant and now, Armstrong.

AOL’s Golden Parachutes: $28.4 Million for Four Former Executives

Want to make money? Become a former AOL executive. The Web publisher paid out $28.4 million in cash and stock to four top executives it replaced last year. It will pay some of them millions more this year.

Google Makes AOL’s Turnaround Task Even Harder

Little by little, AOL is offering investors more and more details about what the company will look like after it spins off from Time Warner. But the more AOL discloses, the less attractive the company looks. The newest problem: AOL’s steady flow of Google money is going away.
tim_armstrong_lg

AOL Spinoff Approved Last Night by Time Warner Board: Here Are the Inside Details (Not in the Press Release)

While there were reports that the Time Warner board was meeting today to approve the spin-off of its AOL online unit, it actually gave the move an “enthusiastic endorsement” last night, according to sources. Time Warner just put out the press release about the move that would make AOL an “independent, publicly traded company.” But, several sources with knowledge of the situation said AOL CEO and Chairman Tim Armstrong is set to make massive changes to the structure of AOL, sweeping aside its current set-up almost completely. That includes keeping the access business, which many thought would be sold off and putting many of the companies it has recently acquired–including its pricey Bebo social networking site–in a separate ventures unit, which will try to attract outside investment.
KB_DJBat_F06_cvr.indd

People Networks President Joanna Shields Leaving AOL (With Full Internal Memos)

According to an internal memo obtained by BoomTown, Joanna Shields, who came to AOL via its troubled acquisition of the Bebo social-networking site, will be returning to London to spend more time with her family and to “pursue entrepreneurial interests.” Until recently, People Networks has been the third leg of the Time Warner-owned online site’s businesses, which also include advertising and content. But under new CEO Tim Armstrong, who was one of the top sales execs at Google, AOL is largely abandoning its business-unit approach for a more functional and centralized structure.
viewmediajpg

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

This is is just too cute to pass up. Apparently, some staffers at AOL are using a teeny-weeny cartoon of new CEO Tim Armstrong as the icon on their instant messaging program. 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. He’s 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.
picture-4

How to Juice AOL: A Spin-Out, Of Course, But Also a Reunion at Dulles HQ?

First came the go-go hello email, and now new AOL Chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong will address all the troops tomorrow at 11 am EST and has chosen to do so from, of all places, AOL’s old center of power in Dulles, Virginia. Many at AOL hope that Armstrong will quickly and transparently lay out plans for a spin-out of the Time Warner online unit from the media conglomerate, where it has languished for years. And sources said Armstrong could further up the ante and help raise the layoff-weary morale by having some former AOL execs from its glory days as the top online player in person at the event.
spinout-lp

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

BoomTown has a feeling 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 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!)
tim2

Weekend Update, 3.14.09–Special Roman "Ides of March" Edition

In Silicon Valley, it’s hard to believe that not everyone follows each shiny new thing on the Web, tracks OS versions as intently as the storyline for “Battlestar Galactica” and remains jacked-in pretty much 24/7. But it’s been known to happen. For instance, BoomTown was in Rome earlier this week attending a conference on business, brand and innovation that happens only once every seven years–and one of the biggest takeaways? Hardly any Italians have heard of Twitter, and those who have don’t really use it.
roman

Weekend Update, 3.14.09–Special Roman “Ides of March” Edition

In Silicon Valley, it’s hard to believe that not everyone follows each shiny new thing on the Web, tracks OS versions as intently as the storyline for “Battlestar Galactica” and remains jacked-in pretty much 24/7. But it’s been known to happen. For instance, BoomTown was in Rome earlier this week attending a conference on business, brand and innovation that happens only once every seven years–and one of the biggest takeaways? Hardly any Italians have heard of Twitter, and those who have don’t really use it.
roman

Quite a Stretch, Armstrong…

All Hail, Smithers and Burns!