- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 17, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Moving rapidly to fill a pivotal job, Google Inc. promoted a top advertising executive in Europe to oversee sales in the United States and neighboring markets that produce most of the Internet search leader’s revenue.

Dennis Woodside, a Google employee since 2003, replaces Tim Armstrong, who is leaving the Mountain View, Calif.-based company after 8 1/2 years to become chief executive of Time Warner Inc.’s AOL family of Web sites.

Google announced Woodside’s promotion Tuesday, less than a week after Armstrong decided to tackle a new challenge at AOL, a one-time Internet star that has struggled to regain its luster for several years.

Armstrong is expected to be a tough act to follow, having helped build Google into an advertising powerhouse in his role overseeing the company’s sales operations in North America and South America.

Woodside, 40, was a logical candidate to succeed Armstrong because he has been steering Google’s ad operations in the United Kingdom _ the country that produces the second-most ad revenue behind the United States.

By promoting from within, Google also appears to be trying to minimize the chances of disrupting its ad operations amid the economic turbulence that has already slowed the company’s revenue growth.

“Ever since I met Dennis in 2003, I have been impressed by his combination of entrepreneurialism and operational excellence,” said Omid Kordestani, who oversees all of Google’s advertising divisions. “He’s never afraid to try new things and always ready to roll up his sleeves and pitch in.”

Google shares rose $15.65, or nearly 5 percent, to finish Tuesday at $335.34.

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