But with that attention comes a lot of AOL dial-up jokes. Armstrong and AOL have been portrayed for years as out of touch with what the cool kids have moved on to. And Armstrong was lampooned for having left a plum job running sales at Google (GOOGL) to take over a basket case at AOL.
Armstrong isn't perfect. Who among us is? I'm not sure he would take this job again in 2009 if he had the choice. If I were him, knowing how tough the last six years have been like, I would think that Randy Falco (his predecessor in the role) would have been welcome to keep that job.
But most of us have taken lousy jobs or ones that weren't quite what we expected them to be when we said yes. The measure of any of us is what do we do after we take the job. Armstrong could have quit. Armstrong could have sold shares. He didn't. He actually dug into his own pockets along the way and bought more than $30 million of it with his own post-Google wealth.