AOL CEO Tim Armstrong sent the company’s staff a memo Thursday outlining the new leadership team of “Oath,” the name of the new organization that will combine Yahoo and AOL teams after Verizon’s acquisition closes.
As expected, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer will not be joining the new organization, and neither will CFO Ken Goldman or chief revenue officer Lisa Utzschneider. Yahoo shareholders are scheduled to vote on Verizon’s acquisition on June 8.
While Mayer will be out of a job post-Verizon, she’ll leave with a pretty penny: She currently owns Yahoo stock worth more than $200 million, and is eligible for severance benefits.
According to Armstrong’s memo, among the new Oath execs are Simon Khalaf, currently Yahoo’s senior VP of product and engineering for publisher products, who will head up Media Brands and Products; Jeff Bonforte, SVP of Yahoo’s communications products, who will lead Communications, Data and Search; and Ralf Jacob, president of Verizon Digital Media Services, who will head up Oath’s Digital Media Services Platforms.
Read Armstrong’s full memo, which was reported earlier by Recode:
From: Tim Armstrong
Date: Thu, Apr 27, 2017 at 5:15 PM
Subject: Moving forward
Even though we are not yet closed, the management teams from both companies have been busy planning for the future. Today, we are taking our first important steps forward in our journey together by setting three simple post-closing objectives:
1. Build global brands people love
2. Build global brand platforms partners love
3. Build a global company talent loves
Driving these objectives post-close will be the job of our leaders – and you. The go-forward leadership team was selected on the following principles:
1. Built for Talent: Talented people are attracted to environments where they can have an impact, are able to use all of their talents, produce great work, and be challenged. Our leadership team puts talent first and is expected to build an amazing cast while they build an amazing performance. We want leaders who care about every position and every function. Leaders make talented people more talented – and they enjoy that process.
2. Built on Technology: While all the skills on the team are critical, we want to compete on digital foundations of technology and product. We are leaning into a leadership team that is technically enabled. Most companies in the world are trying to move their businesses to technology-enabled platforms – we are already there and we are going to double down. The executive team is expected to drive technology, data, and platforms into all areas of our operations.
3. Built for Brands: We operate and partner with some of the most powerful brands in the world. Brands and brand platforms will become increasingly important as technology scales – brands create a trust factor for the human experience. From award-winning journalists on the front lines of brands like HuffPost or Yahoo News to the engineers ensuring trustworthy platforms like Flurry, BrightRoll and ONE, everyone is responsible for building brands – our brands and partner brands. We are looking for leaders that can drive impact in the consumer and customer marketplace. As the famous coach John Wooden said, “Never mistake activity for achievement.” We want achievement leaders who will grow brands and platforms in the marketplace.
Between now and the close of the deal, the leadership team will be planning the strategy and structure to drive our three objectives. Here is our go forward leadership team post-close:
Jeff Bonforte, Communications, Data and Search
Simon Khalaf, Media Brands and Products
Tim Mahlman, Programmatic Ad Tech Platforms
Ralf Jacob, Digital Media Services Platforms
John DeVine, Global Sales and Customer Operations
Allie Kline, Marketing and Communications
Atte Lahtiranta, Technology
Holly Hess, Finance
Tim Lemmon, Operations & Search Partnerships
Bob Toohey, Human Resources
Julie Jacobs, Legal
Mark Roszkowski, Corporate Development, Strategy and Global Partnerships
Nate Kanefield, Chief of Staff
Engineering and technology systems are a critical organization and we will use engineering leadership to help us future-ready the company post close. We are asking David Filo, Jay Rossiter, Atte Lahtiranta, Laurie Mann, and Bill Pence to design and create an expanded tech council that, starting at close, will review all aspects of the company and implement technology enabled solutions as well as global technical standards.
Additionally, given our growth objectives, it is critical that we have a set of regional leaders post-close that both localize our global go to market strategy and help set the overall strategy for deeper expansions into global markets. Rose Tsou, the current Yahoo head of Asia-Pacific, will lead our combined APAC operations. The Americas and EMEA leadership structures are still in planning phase and will be announced as soon as possible. Our APAC, EMEA, and Americas market leaders will report to John DeVine.
Many of you will have questions about next steps and we want to do everything we can within the pre-close limits to answer them. On May 3 (1 PM EST / 10 AM PST), I will host a live stream to talk through a high level summary of our go-forward strategy process and our next steps before the anticipated closing in Q2. Most of the time will be spent answering questions which anyone can submit here: AOL; Yahoo. Given we are still pre-close, this meeting is optional for AOLers and Yahoos – everyone is welcome and we will make the video available on AOL’s Inside and Yahoo’s Backyard (available for 24 hours) shortly after. The full strategy and structure will be reviewed at the close of the deal.
Both executive teams are working incredibly hard on planning the integration of the companies, and I would like to thank everyone who is helping us take the necessary steps to set the combined company up for the next part of our journey.