Verizon using AOL's Tim Armstrong to explore purchase of Yahoo: Report

AOL's Tim Armstrong knows a thing or two about Verizon acquisitions and could help Verizon become a mobile video, advertisement, and content powerhouse.
Written by Jake Smith, Contributor
James Martin/CNET

Verizon is interested in purchasing some or all of Yahoo, reports Bloomberg, as it looks to continue to bolster its mobile video and content arm.

The telecommunications giant has made Tim Armstrong, CEO of its AOL unit, the lead in exploring a possible bid for Yahoo's assets.

Verizon hasn't initiated formal talks, and Armstrong is simply starting the preliminary discussions, according to the report.

Armstrong should know plenty about Verizon acquisitions, as he was at the helm of AOL when it was purchased by Verizon for $4.4 billion.

Verizon's interest in Yahoo is said to span all the way back to December, before Yahoo confirmed it's up for sale following cuts of $400 million and disappointing earnings.

"The Board also believes that exploring additional strategic alternatives, in parallel to the execution of the management plan, is in the best interest of our shareholders," Yahoo's chairman Maynard Webb said in early-February. "Separating our Alibaba stake from our operating business continues to be a primary focus, and our most direct path to value maximization."

Activist hedgefund Starboard released ​an open letter to Yahoo's board of directors expressing frustration in the company's turnaround.

"If the Board is unwilling to accept the need for significant change, then an election contest may very well be needed so that shareholders can replace a majority of the Board with directors who will represent their best interests and approach the situation with an open mind and a fresh perspective," Starboard's Jeffery Smith wrote.

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer said the company's turnaround efforts "will enable us to accelerate Yahoo's transformation. This is a strong plan calling for bold shifts in products and in resources."

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