Verizon's digital division Oath appointed a new Chief Financial Officer on Friday, having given the role to Vanessa Wittman, a former executive of Motorola Mobility and Dropbox. The newly appointed official will answer directly to CEO Tim Armstrong and support the company's ambitions to become a major player in the global digital industry. Ms. Wittman's role makes her directly responsible for strategizing over Oath's future acquisitions meant to accelerate its growth. While the "Oath" brand is still young, Verizon has been acquiring its assets for several years now, having first started its major foray into digital media two and a half years ago with the $4.4 billion purchase of AOL. The New York-based telecom giant added Yahoo's Internet business to its portfolio last year for a similar sum, having combined them into Oath in mid-2017.
Ms. Wittman will assume her duties momentarily, whereas departing CEO Holly Hess is moving to Verizon's ranks where she'll helm the company's massive virtualization project intended to save $10 billion in costs by 2020. Oath didn't elaborate on the CFO change any further and it's still unclear which party initiated the move. Ms. Wittman is joining Oath at a time of promising growth for the firm which recorded $2.2 billion in revenue in the fourth quarter of 2017, a ten percent annual increase, according to Verizon's latest consolidated financial report. While the majority of that spike was attributed to the traditional advertising boost prompted by the holiday season, Verizon is still hoping Oath will maintain at least a portion of that momentum over the current quarter. In the long-term, the largest mobile service provider in the United States is still positioning its subsidiary as a digital-first company meant to compete for advertising dollars with the likes of Google and Facebook.
Oath is presently aiming to attract over two billion consumers to its online offerings by 2020, in addition to having at least ten million content creators using its services by the same deadline. Mr. Armstrong's comments from last May revealed the firm is looking to aggressively grow its revenue in the near term, with its bottom 2020 target being $10 billion. The startup-like expansion targeted by the company is believed to be a result of Verizon's steadily increasing need to diversify its offerings even at the dawn of 5G commercialization that's widely expected to allow for entirely new revenue streams.