Sunday, August 11, 2013

AOL's CEO, Tim Armstrong, Fired His Creative Director While On A Conference Call With 1,000 Employees!!

Tim Armstrong, the CEO of AOL, recently held a conference call with 1,000 employees to speak on the direction of Patch, which is said to have laid off a few hundred employees after dropping 400 of its operated sites.  During this call Armstrong says that he takes full credit for any wrongs at Patch and spoke on the company's direction and how everyone that remains with Patch should fully stand behind it and believe in it.  He offered for anyone not fully vested in the venture to leave the company.  And to prove that statement he fired his Creative Director, Abel Lenz, after ordering him to put down his camera!

A long silence follows the CEO's last word spoken to Lenz, (which happens to be "Out!") before the conference call continued.  Check out audio from that call:


Firing begins around the 2:00 mark

From DailyMail:

The employee that Armstrong fired is Abel Lenz, Patch's creative director, according to Romanesko, who broke news of the call.

When Romenesko tweeted at Lenz on Saturday for a comment on the firing, Lenz replied: 'I appreciate the interest Jim, but I have nothing to share. Go Patch!'

Several hours later, Lenz tweeted to no one in particular, 'No comment,' and attached a photo from inside Old Town Bar in Manhattan.

According to Patch employees, Lenz often snapped pictures during conference calls and staff meetings and would later post them to the company's internal website. 

The conference call, held one day after AOL announced major cutbacks at Patch, was meant to boost morale for the employees remaining with the news organization. 

Armstrong assured the employees on the call that AOL is still committed to Patch's success and asked anyone who does not believe him to leave their jobs. 

'If you don’t use Patch as a product and you’re not invested in Patch, you owe it to everybody else at Patch to leave,' he said. 'If you think what’s going on right now is a joke, and you want to joke around about it, you should pick your stuff up and leave Patch today.'

Armstrong also complained about leaks to the press, saying they won't change the direction that Patch is going.
 
'I don’t care what the press says, I don’t care if people leak information... I also want to clear up the fact that leaking information or anything around Patch isn’t going to bother me, doesn’t bother me. I’m not changing direction.

'When you hear about what we’re doing at Patch it’s very serious and it’s very forward-thinking and anything that happens around Patch isn’t going to change that direction.'
Several minutes after firing Lenz, however, Armstrong indicated that he does, indeed, care about leaks. 

He said leaks were making Patch seem like 'loser-ville' in the press, according to Business Insider.

He said, 'That's why Abel was fired.'

'We can't have people that are in the locker room giving the game plan away.'


...Indeed.


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