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Armstrong's Message To The AOL Troops: Google Gave Me Their Blessing

This story was written by David Kaplan.
Incoming AOL CEO Tim Armstrong told staffers at company's former Dulles, VA. headquarters today that his former employers are committed to maintaining its relationship with AOL (NYSE: TWX). The two companies have seemed farther apart lately; earlier today, AOL severed its ties to DoubleClick and opted to use its AdTech unit as its in-house ad server. As AllThingsD's Kara Swisher already detailed the two special guests that Armstrong brought with himpast AOL luminaries Steve Case and former AOL vice chairman Ted Leonsiswho received cheers from the 1,000 attendees, some of who perhaps remember when the company was less embattled than it is today. Armstrong's full comments after the jump.

The main point Armstrong's talk sought to reassure AOL staffers that he wasn't so much of an outsider and that Google was not the enemy going forward. Armstrong: "I wanted to say thank you to Google (NSDQ: GOOG). I flew out to Mt. View at the beginning of last week and I sat down with Larry [Page, co-founder, president of products], Eric [Schmidt, CEO] and Sergey [Brin, co-founder, president of technology] and I said to them, 'I think maybe it's time for me to go and there's an opportunity I've turned down every other opportunity I've ever gotten to leave Google but this one strikes me as something that I'm really passionate about.' They were very, very supportive. They basically asked me one question, which was "Are you sure you're committed to going there and are you sure you're committed to being passionate about it? That's our only question, and if your answer is yes, we're going to support you." And I think that is a huge testament not only to them as people, but also to how they feel about AOL. And I hope that we will continue the AOL/Google partnership for a long period of time."

By David Kaplan

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