Eighteen months after AOL chief exec Tim Armstrong dismissed creative director Abel Lenz for taking photos at an “all-hands” meeting, former Patch editor Paul Petrone writes about what he calls “one of the worst firings in the history of corporate America.”
Why tell the story now?
“Because I think it should serve as a lesson of exactly what not to do” when firing an employee.
Today, I was going to write about the best way to fire someone, as it fits under the broad umbrella of human resource functions, which I primarily write about. But I realized I couldn’t do that without first writing about the worst way to fire someone, which I witnessed myself.
I guess my point to CEOs and managers alike is this – don’t fire people in front of 1,000 colleagues for no real reason. To put it mildly, it doesn’t help morale.
Petrone’s post got me wondering where Lenz landed after getting axed. According to his Twitter bio, he’s now product/design vice president at Opticlose.
* The worst way to fire someone – and I was there (linkedin.com)
Earlier on JimRomenesko.com:
* “A Patch higher-up was bizarrely fired by Tim Armstrong this morning”
* AUDIO: Listen to Armstrong fire creative director Abel Lenz
The Smoking Gun found an AOL “Attorney’s Eyes Only” memo that reveals Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington, who sold her site to AOL in 2011, received less than seven percent of the sale price of $315 million.
Media reporters guessed two years ago that she had received about $100 million, but the newly surfaced memo says it was around $21 million — probably less than what was earned by several of HuffPo’s financial backers.
“The deal document stresses Huffington’s critical importance to the web site, noting that her departure ‘could have a significant detrimental effect on the Company’s business,'” reports The Smoking Gun.
* Huffington haul detailed in AOL internal memo (thesmokingun.com)
ALSO IN AOL-LAND… Many editors at AOL’s Patch are saying goodbye to readers today. Here’s a batch of farewells found via Google.
From Andrew Goldman’s New York Times Magazine Q-and-A with AOL chief executive Tim Armstrong:
The New Yorker reported that 80 percent of AOL’s profits are from subscribers, many of whom are older people paying for dial-up service they don’t need to get online.
We communicate to all members regularly. So the people who pay for AOL know they’re paying for AOL. Two-thirds of the three million people who are paying us for subscriptions aren’t using dial-up access. They pay for customer service or computer checkup or all these other services.
* AOL’s Tim Armstrong knows how to play nice with others
* The old and the lazy help AOL’s bottom line
* Really? Some people see an AOL.com email address as a status symbol?