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Yahoo and AOL take new 'Oath' after Verizon deal

The two past-their-prime internet pioneers will be housed under a new media division at Verizon.

Yahoo is reportedly getting a new name.
Ethan Miller, Getty Images

Verizon swears the team behind its new media division will be "unstoppable."

After the telecom officially swallows up Yahoo, it will be placed under a new media division called Oath. Business Insider first reported the news Monday. AOL, which Verizon already owns, will also be part of the division.

AOL head Tim Armstrong confirmed the name in a tweet. "Billion+ Consumers, 20+ Brands, Unstoppable Team," he wrote.

One person who reportedly will not take the Oath: Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer. The beleaguered chief executive won't be joining the new company, according to a report by Recode.

"Marissa is focused and working very hard to get this transition done," a source familiar with the matter said. "It's important for it be done well." However, the source didn't mention possibilities after the transition is over.

The road to Oath has been long and bumpy. In July, Yahoo agreed to sell its internet operations -- which includes iconic sites like Yahoo search and mail as well as its advertising tech -- to Verizon for $4.83 billion.

But Verizon wavered on the deal after Yahoo disclosed two massive cyberattacks. One of them, which occurred in 2014 and was revealed in September, affected 500 million user accounts. Then three months later, the company disclosed an even bigger breach that happened in 2013 and affected a billion user accounts.

The 2014 hack involved Russian hackers that were charged by the Justice Department last month. Because of the hacks, Yahoo scraped $350 million off its selling price to Verizon.

It's still not clear if the Yahoo brand will remain in any way.

Yahoo's sale to Verizon means the end of independence for one of the web's earliest pioneers, once one of the brightest stars in Silicon Valley. The company started as "Jerry and David's Guide to the World Wide Web," when Stanford grad students Jerry Yang and David Filo launched it in 1995 as a directory for the internet. The service played an important role in bringing the internet to regular people, teaching them how to surf the web for news, sports and entertainment.

When Mayer got to Yahoo in 2012, she was seen as a potential savior for the troubled internet pioneer. A former Google executive, she helped bring the company into the mobile era by refreshing all of Yahoo's services for phones and tablets. But Mayer never figured out how to make much money off the company's properties.

The thinking in merging Yahoo and AOL is that they can combine to make a solid No. 3 alternative to digital advertising juggernauts Google and Facebook, which rank as the most-trafficked websites in the world.

First published April 3, 1:57 p.m. PT.
Update, 3:20 p.m. PT: Adds details on Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer.

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