An executive from Google Inc is becoming the latest CEO of AOL, as the Time Warner Inc Internet unit still struggles to set its course.
Tim Armstrong, who was a senior vice president at Google, replaces AOL CEO Randy Falco, a veteran television executive who took the job in November 2006. Falco, along with Ron Grant, AOL's president and chief operating officer, are leaving AOL.
Armstrong also will take over from Falco as chairman.
This shakeup could mean a spin-off of AOL is more likely. Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes has said he's open to a merger or sale of AOL, and in a statement Bewkes said Armstrong would be "helpful in helping Time Warner determine the optimal structure for AOL."
"Tim is the right executive to move AOL into the next phase of its evolution," Bewkes said. "At Google, Armstrong helped build one of the most successful media teams in the history of the Internet."
The transition is another sign of turmoil in Time Warner Inc's decade-long attempts to salvage its 2001 acquisition by AOL, once known as America Online. The $147 billion AOL-Time Warner deal symbolised the astonishing wealth created by the dot-com boom and quickly became one of the most disastrous marriages in US corporate history.