SAN FRANCISCO — Verizon has tapped AOL CEO Tim Armstrong to lead preliminary discussions of a potential purchase of Yahoo, according to Bloomberg, citing "a person with knowledge of the situation." Armstrong joined Verizon last year when the company acquired AOL in May for $4.4 billion.
By purchasing AOL, Verizon took a major step into the world of online and video content and advertising. Now, the telecommunications giant is hoping to build on that with purchase of Yahoo or parts of it.
Though Yahoo has been struggling to boost revenue under the leadership of CEO Marissa Mayer over the past four years, the tech giant is still a major player in online content. With Yahoo Mail, Sports, Finance and other entities, Yahoo continues to draw more than 1 billion users. That's an audience Verizon would benefit from tapping.
Helping Armstrong will be his long relationship with Mayer. The two served together as executives at Google, and in 2014, they had discussions about combining Yahoo and AOL, Bloomberg said. Under the umbrella of Verizon, that may finally happen.
Yahoo, for its part, has been considering selling its core business as a "reverse spin-off" of its multi-billion dollar assets in e-commerce giant Alibaba and Yahoo Japan. Last week, Yahoo said it would continue to explore any options while also announcing a 15 percent workforce reduction.