'Beat the Internet' Is AOL's Official New MantraS

The official theme of AOL, the fast-fading internet giant, is to "beat the internet," CEO Tim Armstrong confirms in an internal memo. And by "beat" he apparently means "pummel into a bloody whimpering mess."

AOL's "beat the internet" slogan has been rumored and alluded to before, but today's memo is the clearest confirmation yet that the company is committed to this odd bit of branding. What's more, Armstrong explains the slogan by way of a quote from a famous boxer, lending the verb "to beat" a whole new overtone:

Changing ourselves is much better than being changed by the industry, and all the announcements today are meant to make AOL faster, better and stronger. I will leave you with a favorite quote of mine, and one that speaks to "Beat the Internet":

"Champions aren't made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them - a desire, a dream, and a vision. They have to have the skill, and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill." - Muhammad Ali

AOL: It's Coming for Your Lunch Money, Just As Soon As It's Done Punching Twitter In It's God Damned Face. Full memo below.

AOLers -

As we move out of the cost-structuring phase of AOL's turnaround and
into the phase of developing the long-term platforms that we'll use to
serve consumers and partners, we're announcing some important and
exciting changes to the global management team of the company. We
have accomplished a lot over the past year, and the changes below will
make AOL a stronger and faster competitor in our strategy areas.
You'll see leadership announcements below as well as changes in our
corporate structure.

First, I am excited to announce that Alex Gounares is joining the
company as Chief Technology Officer and as a member of the AOL global
executive team. Alex is an exceptional person and brings an
incredible body of work with him to AOL. He comes to AOL from
Microsoft where he was a Corporate Vice President and Chief Technology
Officer for Microsoft's Online Services Division. Alex holds a
bachelor's degree cum laude in Computer Science from Princeton
University and is an inventor on more than 100 U.S. patents filed and
pending. After working at Los Alamos National Laboratory, he joined
Microsoft in 1993 and was appointed Technology Advisor to Bill Gates
in 2003. In 2006, Gounares was appointed Corporate Vice President of
Corporate Strategy and became Corporate Vice President, Advertising
Research and Development in 2007.

Alex begins his role as CTO this Thursday and will be based in Dulles.
He has a deep understanding of many of the global platforms in our
strategy areas, as well as significant experience in the start-up
technology sector. Alex also will be a key leader on the global
operating committee as we continue to execute AOL's turnaround. He has
a global background and will work closely with the leadership in
India, Europe, Israel and other areas where we support technical
operations. Alex will be one of my direct reports, and I'm looking
forward to working with him closely.

The second announcement is that Julie Jacobs is becoming AOL's General
Counsel and Corporate Secretary, as well as a member of AOL's global
executive team. Ira Parker, our current General Counsel and Corporate
Secretary, will be transitioning to an advisory role for the company,
and we want to take this moment to thank Ira for his leadership and
dedication over the past three years. Ira was instrumental in leading
AOL through the 10-month process of spinning off from Time Warner.
There was an incredible amount of work that went into that effort and
in getting us to last week's moment when we hosted our first
shareholder meeting as the newly independent AOL.

Julie's work at AOL is well documented, and many AOLers across the
globe have worked with her over the past 10 years. Julie has been in
a leadership role for every one of AOL's major strategic initiatives
during her time with the company and has been responsible for some of
the most important work in the process of AOL's turnaround. Julie
works directly with the AOL Board of Directors, AOL's senior
leadership and many of AOL's most important business partners. Her
career at AOL has included work in all major global markets including
Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India,
Japan, Mexico, Spain and the United Kingdom. In her most recent role
as Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, she managed all
the corporate and transactional legal work for the company including
securities law compliance, corporate governance, mergers and
acquisitions and commercial transactions. Julie is a cum laude
graduate of Georgetown Law School and a member of the Georgetown Law
Review. She has Bar Admissions in New York, District of Columbia and
the Commonwealth of Virginia (Corporate Counsel). Julie will report
to me and will also work closely with the AOL Board of Directors as
Corporate Secretary.

The third announcement is that Maureen Sullivan, who has been Chief of
Staff and acting CMO for the past eight months, will be promoted to
Senior Vice President of Marketing & Brand Partnerships for AOL. We
will formally close the search for a CMO and remove the Chief of Staff
role at the executive level. Maureen will serve as head of the AOL
Brand and as a continued member of the global executive team. She has
successfully led the global rebranding of AOL on a limited financial
budget, relative to our competition, with strong results. Many of you
have worked with Maureen since she's also led many of the global
events, global brand partnerships and cultural programs we've rolled
out. Maureen and her team are actively working on many important
initiatives including the AOL brand architecture, the development of a
strong internal research capability to support our products and
services, the creative vision for our brand identity and brand
campaigns, as well as exciting marketing initiatives and brand
partnerships. We also will expand the marketing team with a focus on
design and creative resources. Maureen and her team are working on
many of the plans for AOL's 25th anniversary, including important
brand initiatives that we'll kick off later this month.

In the corporate area of AOL, I also want to highlight key changes on
how we run the company. Continuing to add talent to AOL at all levels
gives us the ability to better organize how we operate and facilitate
our strategic opportunities. Artie Minson, our CFO, will take on more
responsibility for running AOL's corporate functions, where he has
already facilitated meaningful improvements. Artie will add Business
Development and Corporate Communications to his operational oversight.
Jared Grusd, head of Business Development, and Trish Primrose, head
of Corporate Communications, will report to Artie. Both Jared and
Trish will remain on the global executive team, and we'll continue to
review those operations on a weekly basis and work with them daily as
they touch all major areas of the company. Additionally, Tiane
Mitchell Gordon, AOL's head of Diversity, will report to Dave Harmon
in the HR function so that we can coordinate diversity in recruiting
and in our operations. Diversity remains one of the key areas we need
to address, and we are working on more significant programs to make
AOL as strong as it can be in this area.

We're also expanding our business operations area. Business
Operations will now be led by Jon Brod, currently head of AOL
Ventures, Local & Mapping. Jon is an exceptional operator and member
of the global executive team. He will maintain his current
responsibilities, but will increase his operational mandate and work
even more closely with me to drive the global AOL business and help
improve our operational excellence. Jon and the Business Operations
team will focus on operationalizing the company goals and outcomes.
Joe Ruffolo, a 10-year AOLer, and Jen Wong, a 10-week AOLer, will
continue to lead the Business Operations team under Jon. Joe is
working on the global operating process, and Jen is working with the
strategy leads to improve the operating leverage and corporate
resource allocations. Jon and the Business Operations team are already
working on several significant projects to enhance revenue growth and
the growth of unique visitors to AOL's properties.

We have a lot more work to do, but today is a great day for the future
of AOL. We're beginning to operate at a faster pace and starting to
move from defense to offense – and gaining the will to win. Changing
ourselves is much better than being changed by the industry, and all
the announcements today are meant to make AOL faster, better and
stronger.

I will leave you with a favorite quote of mine, and one that speaks to
"Beat the Internet":

"Champions aren't made in gyms. Champions are made from something they
have deep inside them - a desire, a dream, and a vision. They have to
have the skill, and the will. But the will must be stronger than the
skill." - Muhammad Ali

Let's keep up the will to win, and everything else will take care of
itself. Go AOL - TA [Tim Armstrong, CEO]