AOL CEO Tim Armstrong’s 2010 Compensation Drops 40% to $15.3 Million

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Last year was the online firm’s first as a standalone company following its separation from Time Warner.

NEW YORK – AOL Inc. disclosed on Thursday that chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong’s 2010 compensation amounted to $15.3 million.

That was down 40 percent from $25.5 million in 2009 when Time Warner still owned the online firm. Stock and option awards were the drivers of the decline.

AOL said in a regulatory filing that key financial performance goals it had set were exceeded in 2010, its first year as a standalone company after the TW separation in December of 2009.

But with the change, the value of Armstrong’s stock and options awards was significantly lower last year than in 2009. His nearly $4.9 million in stock awards for 2010 compared to $5.6 million a year earlier, while the value of his option awards declined from $19.1 million to $7.1 million.

AOL’s stock rose 1.8 percent in 2010, according to Bloomberg data.

However, Armstrong's salary rose from $734,849 to $1 million last year, and he got more than $2.3 million in performance-based bonus payments. In 2009, he had foregone a bonus.

“Armstrong executed against an aggressive strategy in 2010 that positioned the Company for future growth,” the AOL filing said. “He gained key technology, talent, content, products and services” through such acquisitions as those of StudioNow, 5 Minutes, TechCrunch, and he “unlocked significant value” by disposing of non-core assets, such as ICQ and Bebo. The filing also mentioned cost reductions and Armstrong’s focus on developing a new culture.


Armstrong this year also brought the Huffington Post under the AOL umbrella in a $315 million acquisition that recently closed.