CEO for Verizon's Oath is stepping down

A top Verizon executive who has struggled trying to turn the telecom giant into an advertising rival to Google and Facebook will be replaced next month and intends to leave by the end of the year.

Tim Armstrong, who was the chief executive of AOL when Verizon bought his company in 2015, was responsible for leading Oath, the Verizon subsidiary that contains AOL and Yahoo.

Armstrong will be succeeded on Oct. 1 by K. Guru Gowrappan, Oath’s president and chief operating officer, Verizon said in a release Wednesday. Armstrong will take an advisory role at Verizon before departing by year’s end, the company said.

The announcement comes a year after Verizon completed its acquisition of Yahoo in an attempt to create a digital advertising giant that could take on Silicon Valley. Its aim was to use behavioral data from Internet users to sell highly targeted advertisements, particularly on video.

But the company has faced difficulty gaining traction. Earlier this year, it shut down its fledgling proprietary video app, Go90, which sought young audiences with short, shareable clips. And reports last week suggested Verizon was having trouble gathering the type of user data needed to create a more competitive ad business.

— Brian Fung

Also in Business

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U.S. wholesale prices fell unexpectedly last month for the first time since February 2017. The drop suggests that inflationary pressures may be easing despite the strength of the U.S. economy. The Labor Department said Wednesday that its producer price index — which measures inflation before it reaches consumers — fell 0.1 percent in August after being flat in July. Producer prices were up 2.8 percent from August 2017. Wholesale prices for services slid 0.1 percent; prices of goods were flat. Excluding volatile food and energy prices, so-called core wholesale inflation also slipped 0.1 percent from July.

— From news reports

Coming today

8:30 a.m.: Labor Department releases consumer price index for August.

10 a.m.: Freddie Mac, the mortgage company, releases weekly mortgage rates.

2 p.m.: Treasury releases federal budget for August.