Verizon Communications has reportedly tapped Tim Armstrong, chief executive of its AOL unit, to head a possible bid for Yahoo’s assets.
Verizon has expressed interest in the troubled firm for months as Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has announced staff cuts and expressed on-and-off interest in selling the company, in whole or part.
Crain’s NY, quoting unidentified people with knowledge of Verizon’s internal moves, said Armstrong has known Mayer for years, when both were Google executives before leaving to head up their respective Web companies.
Armstrong also helped with Verizon’s $250 million purchase of advertising technology specialist Millennial Media Inc. in October.
Yahoo and Verizon declined to comment.
Verizon is looking to make its go90 streaming video service a source of new sales and profit, and Yahoo, with more than 1 billion e-mail, finance, sports and video customers, would be a sizeable addition to AOL’s 2 million users and Verizon’s 112 million+ wireless subscribers, Crain’s noted.
Yahoo has struggled for more than a decade and now faces calls for an outright sale by activist shareholder Starboard Value LP.
Verizon Chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam, appearing Feb. 5 on CNBC’s Mad Money, hinted that a future deal might be in the works.
“At the right price, I think marrying up some of their assets with AOL under Tim Armstrong’s leadership would be a good thing for investors,” McAdam said.