Now is the time to execute on opportunities for Oath, Verizon CEO says 

  • "Our ambition is, of course, that we both can leverage the strength of the Verizon side, the network and the distribution, and bringing the Oath assets in there," Vestberg told CNBC in a "Squawk Alley" interview.
  • Among Vestberg's goals are gaining a wider market share for Oath's advertising technology platform and media channels.

Hans Vestberg, newly installed CEO of Verizon, told CNBC on Thursday that the company will push on with its plans for Oath, despite the impending departure of the digital media unit's chief executive, Tim Armstrong.

"Our ambition is, of course, that we both can leverage the strength of the Verizon side, the network and the distribution, and bringing the Oath assets in there," Vestberg said in a "Squawk Alley" interview.

Verizon announced Wednesday that Armstrong, head of media and advertising and a holdover from the 2015 AOL acquisition, will leave at the end of the year. CNBC reported Armstrong was in talks to depart as of Sept. 7.

Armstrong spearheaded Verizon's efforts to combine AOL and Yahoo into a digital advertising and content giant, called Oath. Those efforts have yet to produce significant growth, and with Armstrong's departure, remain unfinished.

Oath's president and chief operating officer, K. Guru Gowrappan, will assume the role of chief executive effective Oct. 1, Verizon said in a release Wednesday.

But that doesn't mean Verizon is done with Oath yet.

Vestberg praised Armstrong and his team for doing the work of combining "a lot of different assets," including media channels, advertising and cutting-edge technology, to make up Oath. Now is the time "to execute on that," Vestberg said.

"We are in that moment right now to have this conversation, and seeing that we bring the best benefits out of the total Verizon for our customers, for our distribution," Vestberg said.

Among Vestberg's goals are gaining a wider market share for Oath's advertising technology platform and media channels.

"That's how we measure the success of it," he added.

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 included several smaller acquisitions. Verizon had hoped to compete with Google and Facebook in the digital advertising marketplace through Oath. Instead, the unit is expected to lose a share of the market, which continues to be dominated by the two technology giants, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Vestberg, promoted from chief technology officer, succeeded Lowell McAdam as CEO of the No. 1 U.S. wireless carrier earlier this month. McAdam, who had been chief executive since August 2011, continues as chairman of the board. Before joining Verizon last year, Vestberg spent six years as CEO of Swedish telecom powerhouse Ericsson.

— CNBC's David Faber and Michael Sheetz contributed to this report.