By Sarah Krouse 

Tim Armstrong, the former leader of AOL, is walking away with more than $60 million as he leaves Verizon Communications Inc., which recently wrote down half the value of the internet business he led.

The cash and stock awards and other benefits, pieced together from disclosures in a securities filing late Monday, are a combination of Mr. Armstrong's 2018 compensation, severance and a special incentive package that Verizon granted Mr. Armstrong when it bought AOL in 2015.

Mr. Armstrong formally departed Verizon at the end of 2018, but stepped back from running its internet unit months earlier, passing the reins to K. Guru Gowrappan. That business, now called Verizon Media Group, booked a $4.5 billion accounting charge in the fourth quarter after failing to meet its revenue targets and laid off some staff.

Most of Mr. Armstrong's compensation for 2018 and 2019 comes from a so-called founders equity award he was granted when Verizon bought AOL. The first part vested last spring and the remainder is set to vest in coming months, according to regulatory filings.

Mr. Armstrong received $31.1 million from the founders award last year and stands to get another $16.6 million in June if the value of the media group is unchanged from the end of 2018, a Verizon spokesman said. In all, he would get about 80% of the founders award.

Mr. Armstrong declined to comment. The former Google executive joined AOL in 2009 a few months before it was spun off from Time Warner Inc. and led a turnaround that doubled the stock price and resulted in the $4.4 billion sale to Verizon. He joined Verizon and later helped steer the Yahoo acquisition.

Write to Sarah Krouse at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

March 19, 2019 13:00 ET (17:00 GMT)

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