uploads///Oath Unit

Former Alibaba Executive to Run Verizon’s Oath Unit

Ruchi Gupta - Author

Aug. 18 2020, Updated 5:17 a.m. ET

Incoming Oath chief oversaw Alibaba’s overseas efforts

US wireless giant Verizon (VZ) recently announced a top leadership change at its Oath subsidiary. The company has chosen former Alibaba global executive K. Guru Gowrappan to replace Tim Armstrong as Oath’s CEO. Gowrappan joined Oath in April as president and chief operating officer. He had been an executive at video games developer Zynga and mobile start-up Quixey before he moved on to Alibaba where he oversaw global expansion efforts.

Gowrappan will start in his new role at Oath next month. Oath is Verizon’s media and advertising unit.

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Oath to capture 3% of US digital ad spending

Verizon said in a statement announcing the leadership changes at Oath that incoming CEO Gowrappan has a proven track record in scaling businesses globally.

Oath is vying with Facebook (FB), Alphabet’s (GOOGL) Google, and others for digital advertising dollars. Facebook and Google held 19.9% and 38.6%, respectively, of the US digital ad market at the end of 2017, according to eMarketer estimates.

Oath is expected to capture 3% of US digital ad spending in 2018. US digital ad spending is poised to grow to $107.3 billion in 2018 from $90.4 billion in 2017. Microsoft (MSFT) and Amazon (AMZN) are expected to capture 4% and 3%, respectively, of the US digital ad market in 2018.

Armstrong to stay around until the end of the year

Although Armstrong is departing, Verizon has asked him to stay around until the end of the year to help with the transition at Oath. Armstrong joined Verizon in 2015 and became Oath’s CEO in 2017. His coming to Verizon was a result of Verizon acquiring AOL, a company he had led.


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