AOL Chief Tim Armstrong to Take the “Oath” at Yahoo under Verizon Umbrella

Yahoo Verizon Oath

Oath: A Verizon Company – that’s the name Verizon is giving its new unit that will comprise AOL and purchased Yahoo assets. CEO of AOL, Tim Armstrong, will take over as the new chief of the new Verizon company in Summer 2017, according to a Tweet from Armstrong.

As expected, ex-Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer will not be joining Oath in any capacity. The announcement from Armstrong seems to have been made prematurely, since Verizon itself is yet to announce the newly-formed spin-off.

Obviously, the announcing of the name sparked off a barrage of comments deriding the name, some even suggesting that it sounded too much like “OAuth”, the open standard for accessing websites or applications. Not too cryptic to understand if you’ve been following the security breaches at Yahoo over the past several years.

I guess the folks at Verizon – or maybe it was Armstrong that came up with the name – thought it was a ‘good, solid, reliable and trustworthy’ name that attempted to gloss over the multiple security breaches at Yahoo that he is now saddled with? Or perhaps Verizon is trying to preserve its own good name, effectively de-linking Yahoo while enjoying the fruits of its labor?

Whatever the reason, Oath: A Verizon Company doesn’t really have a ring to it. Here’s an interesting list of some of the world’s most, shall we say awkward, company names?

I really loved this one – not even sure it’s genuine…that’s how funny – and apt – it is. Why, they could even be criminal defense attorneys!

To be fair, these guys actually do more for less.

These guys only use ‘light’ oak, btw.

Okay, one last one. I promise.

Well, it’s a lot better than ‘fun but unreliable’ business systems, right?

Alright, enough said. Oath is not a great name. But can it be a great company? Google wasn’t that hot a name when it was launched either, but it is currently the most highly valued brand in America. Yahoo was awkward enough, to be honest. What about Ikea, the swedish modular furniture maker that’s one of the most widely known brands in the world? Did you know they took their name from the first letter of the founder’s full name, and the names of the property and village he was born in – Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd. Very few people would have actually been able to pronounce that name, btw.

The truth is, Armstrong has a massive challenge in front of him, handling over 20 different business units and more than a billion customers. We don’t even know how many of them will survive intact over the next few years – BUs or customers, for that matter. The discounted-from-$4.8-billion purchase price may make business sense, but it brings with it several unresolved issues, not to mention a mess of a conglomerate with so many overlapping businesses.

As for making fun of the name Oath, that’ll blow over in a day or two. It’s the part after that that’s going to be really challenging.

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