Tim Armstrong’s departure from Google represents a loss to Google (assuming it has no designs on AOL), to advertisers and the agency community. Tim and his team have done an exceptional job in articulating the Google proposition and doing it in a way that has attracted revenue and goodwill to him and his team.
It is well known that many in the agency community have issues with Google but few of those issues relate to Tim’s leadership and the manner in which he has encouraged his team to behave.
On the face of it his departure to AOL seems like leaving the Dreamliner for the Hindenburg but that would be to ignore AOL’s still significant audience and assets and the assets of its parent company. Given that he is unlikely to be leaving for the money we can only assume that the promise is a good one. In Platform A AOL has some first class assets in the display space and maybe, just maybe, Tim believes that he can beat his old bosses at that game.