Verizon's media and ad chief Tim Armstrong is in talks to exit

  • Verizon's head of media and advertising Tim Armstrong is in talks to leave the company, sources tell CNBC's Andrew Ross Sorkin.
  • Armstrong was brought in to build the company's digital advertising business Oath but it has yet to produce significant growth.
  • He may leave as early as next month.

Verizon's head of media and advertising Tim Armstrong is in talks to leave the company, sources tell CNBC. The Wall Street Journal first reported the news Friday morning, citing people close to the situation.

Armstrong came to Verizon in 2015 to help try to combine the company's acquisitions of AOL and Yahoo into a digital advertising unit called Oath but those efforts have yet to produce significant growth. Verizon has decided to integrate Oath more fully with the rest of the company's operations, according to the WSJ report, despite recent discussions about spinning off Oath into a separate business.

Armstrong is now in discussions to depart as soon as next month, sources told CNBC's Andrew Ross Sorkin. A Verizon spokesperson said, "We don't comment on speculation and have no announcements to make."

Shares of Verizon fell 1.1 percent in premarket trading.

The move could signal a shift in Verizon's media and advertising strategy, which has increasingly diverged in recent months from that of its closest competitor AT&T. In June, AT&T completed its purchase of Time Warner, launching an advertising-focused strategy that several smaller acquisitions.

Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam has repeatedly said the company doesn't want to become a traditional media company and doesn't need to buy one, like AT&T.

Verizon aimed to compete with Google and Facebook in the digital advertising marketplace with Oath. Instead, the business unit is expected to lose share of the market, which continues to be dominated by the two technology giants, the WSJ said.

—CNBC's Sara Salinas contributed to this report.