Verizon hires former Alibaba exec to be COO of Oath

19 April 2018 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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Verizon has hired a former global head of Alibaba group to run the division that includes the former AOL and Yahoo.

K Guru Gowrappan – who used to work at Yahoo around a decade ago – will join Verizon as president and COO of Oath, the unit into which the US telco has moved the two internet businesses. Oath includes HuffPost, TechCrunch, Yahoo Mail, Yahoo News and Yahoo Sports.

Oath CEO Tim Armstrong said: “Oath serves a billion global consumers and the world’s most important brands in the most disruptive area of the economy and adding Guru as President and COO will accelerate our clear vision into a platform for growth for years to come.”

At Chinese-owned internet company Alibaba, Gowrappan was the global managing director focused on international expansion for key consumer and enterprise products across ecommerce, entertainment & media, payments and the entire commerce enabling stack.

Gowrappan spent five years until 2010 working at Yahoo. He said about his new job: “There’s no other industry that can change history like ours can, and no company better poised for rapid global growth than Oath.”

Armstrong said Oath had “a culture centred around the best external and internal talent we can work with as a company”.