AOL chief executive officer Tim Armstrong arrives in Israel Monday, representing the global Internet services and media company at a GarageGeeks event in Holon hosted by Israeli entrepreneur Yossi Vardi.
GarageGeeks "is an Israeli based not-profit physical and virtual space for innovative and creative people to introduce, network, expose, create, brainstorm, innovate and build," says the group's website. "People that take part in the activities come from different disciplines such as electronics, software, mechanical, art, design, music, hacking and gaming. The spirit of GarageGeeks promotes building non-commercial projects that otherwise may not have come to life."
True to their name, the geniuses who are responsible for many of Israel's modern inventions meet periodically in a machinery garage in Holon, where Armstrong will also give a speech and mingle.
AOL's chief is a welcome visitor in Israel, not just because of his prominence, but also because of the international business relationship he represents. While Yahoo has an investment in Israel and Google co-founder Sergey Brin visited in the spring of 2008, AOL has by far the largest stake in Israeli companies of the major internet giants. The company, formerly known as America Online, employs 200 Israelis.
The communications company has already purchased Israeli companies Mirabilis (developers of ICQ instant messaging), Relegence (real-time intelligence automation), Quigo (online advertising), and Yedda (search technology) to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars.
While in country, Armstrong – who was named CEO in March- will continue AOL's work to foster a link between Israel's high-tech community and the conglomerate, meeting with various Israeli start-ups.
During his stay, Armstrong will focus on companies suited to AOL's profile.