Tim Armstrong Prepares AOL For a Fragmenting Web

The days of the Web portal are long gone. Everyone knows this, especially the people who run the largest destination sites on the Web. AOL’s newest CEO, Tim Armstrong, acknowledges this fact

Last week marked the first 100 days since Armstrong left Google to take over as CEO of AOL

. He’s spent most of that time trying “to figure out what the company does today, what it is strong at, and what it is not strong at.” After digesting all of that information, he is now zeroing in on five areas where he thinks AOL can excel at (and social networking is not one of them, thankfully). The five areas of focus are:

  • Content
  • Advertising
  • Local and Mapping
  • Communications
  • AOL Ventures

Finally, Armstrong set up AOL Ventures as a place to invest in early-stage startups, as well as to park businesses which need fixing or outside investment, Bebo being a case in point. It’s been shunted to AOL Ventures. Armstrong is clearly distancing himself from the $850 million Bebo debacle. He describes one of the imperatives for AOL Ventures as “to keep things on track that have not been on track.” On the M&A front, he says AOL will continue to make “smaller acquisitions” to pick up key technology, engineering talent, unique content, or more advertising scale. “Will we do acquisitions the size of Bebo? My plan is No.

Tim Armstrong Prepares AOL For a Fragmenting Web