AOL boss apologises over public firing gaffe

Chief executive of AOL Tim Armstrong has said sorry to staff for firing creative director Abel Lenz during a conference call

by Gabriella Griffith
Last Updated: 14 Aug 2013

Certain sensitive conversations should be held in private. Firing the creative director of a global internet behemoth, some would argue, is one of them. This is a lesson AOL boss Tim Armstrong has learnt: he's been forced to apologise for dismissing senior staff member Abel Lenz during a 1,000-people strong conference call.
 
The AOL boss has issued an apology to his staff for the now famous firing, which took place on Friday.
 
‘I am writing you to acknowledge the mistake I made last Friday during the Patch all-hands meeting when I publicly fired Abel Lenz,’ said the memo from Armstrong.
 
‘It was an emotional response at the start of a difficult discussion dealing with many people’s careers and livelihoods. I am the CEO. and leader of the organization, and I take that responsibility seriously.’
 
A recording of the conference call went viral after it was leaked by someone at the internet giant. Armstrong apparently took offence to Lenz recording the conference, shouting ‘Abel, put that camera down right now! Abel, you’re fired. Out!’
 
Ouch. Apparently, Armstrong has contacted his former colleague to apologise for his handling of the situation…but hasn’t offered Lenz his job back. Not too sorry then, eh?

Here is the clip of the firing in case you haven't heard it...

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