AOL CEO sorry about public firing of Patch creative director

Tim Armstrong tells employees he made a mistake when he fired Abel Lenz during a Patch all-hands meeting.

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AOL CEO Tim Armstrong apologized to employees about publicly firing former Creative Director Abel Lenz last Friday, according to a post from Poynter on Tuesday.

The journalism watchdog organization posted the text of a note Armstrong sent to employees. In the note, Armstrong said he had apologized to Lenz about the incident.

Apparently management had to tell Lenz once before not to record a confidential meeting, so when he did it again, Armstrong reacted by firing him on the spot during an all-hands meeting, according to Armstrong's note. He wrote it was an "emotional response," that "at a human level it was unfair to Abel."

"We have been through many difficult situations in turning around AOL and I have done my best to make the best decisions in the long-term interest of the employees and the company," Armstrong wrote. "On Friday I acted too quickly and I learned a tremendous lesson and I wanted you to hear that directly from me."

Regardless of the apology, it seems Lenz still no longer works for Patch. His LinkedIn profile lists "Creative Director at AOL Patch.com" as a past position. His current position is a teacher at Miami Ad School.

Updated, 2:33 p.m. PT: Adds more information and background.

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About the author

Donna Tam covers Amazon and other fun stuff for CNET News. She is a San Francisco native who enjoys feasting, merrymaking, checking her Gmail and reading her Kindle.

 

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