Google: Tim Armstrong
No. 6 Tim Armstrong (Head of US Ad Sales): Google
While other companies struggled in the economic downturn, Tim Armstrong led Google’s US sales to 18 percent growth. His success granted him respect and a sizable paycheck, yet there was little chance of him being promoted to the ranks of CEO. AOL deftly poached Armstrong for their top spot, in their attempt to be the Google of something, actually of anything. With AOL having neither the presence nor brand of Google, Yahoo or even Microsoft, there is plenty of room for improvement. Also, as Time Warner sheds AOL like wet mittens, Armstrong could reboot the firm for a buyout and hopeful net gain. Google, as a noun, a verb, and a goal, is not likely worried about their ability to rebound from Armstrong’s resignation. The quit reveals more about Google’s evolution, where they can no longer claim their top talent never leaves. Competition knows that executive turnover could be a one-two punch: 1) They lose 2) We gain. Google has to reckon with other companies’ vying for a byte of Google pie.