Tim Armstrong started his new gig Wednesday as the third CEO of AOL (NYSE: TWX) in less than three years, a challenge under the best of circumstances — and these are far from the best. During a recent interview, Time Warner Chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes described his latest high-level hire’s dual track in coming months: “He should run the business better and keep the competitive position going up and we should look at structures to see what’s the best capital structure, whether independence for AOL may be more successful.” Time Warner started the groundwork for that possible spinoff this week.
Plus he has to do it against the backdrop of a tough ad environment and a loud soundtrack of doubters. But Armstrong told his staff Bewkes and the Time Warner leadership “are putting their full support behind making AOL as successful as it can be. Now it is up to us to deliver on AOL