NEW YORK: AOL, the online unit of media giant Time Warner, has appointed Tim Armstrong, senior vice president of Google, as its new chairman/ceo, and announced he will take over from the incumbent, Randy Falco, next month.

The company saw ad revenues fall by 20% last year, and Time Warner's made an overall loss of $16 billion in the final quarter of last year, prompting rumours it wanted to sell its online arm.

AOL's stable of websites attracted 108.4 million unique users in January, behind Google, Yahoo and Microsoft, according to figures from comScore.

Alongside Falco, who joined the company from NBC in 2006 and made $1.6bn worth of purchases during his tenure as chief executive, AOL's coo Ron Grant will also leave next month.

Armstrong was a member of Google's Operating Committee and said AOL had done "a very nice job of growing traffic" and was in a position to be “a major player in all types of internet-based advertising."

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal; additional content by WARC staff