'Abel, you're fired!' Hear AOL supremo axe exec during conference call
The awkward moment creative chief dumped for pointing camera at boss
Audio AOL boss Tim Armstrong appears to have axed a senior exec on the spot for pointing a camera at him during a conference call with about 1,000 Patch website staff.
While in the middle of threatening the troubled hyperlocal news network with redundancies, Armstrong suddenly turned to Patch's creative director Abel Lenz and let him go in a layoff that was a little sooner than expected.
"Abel, put that camera down right now! Abel, you're fired. Out!" Armstrong was heard saying. Up until that point, Lenz had been charged with running the creative team behind Patch.
According to a recording leaked this week, Armstrong then told staff working on AOL's hyperlocal news network:
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.
Having seemingly dismissed Lenz, the AOL chief exec paused, added that he was committed to Patch, and said his company had spent hundreds of millions of dollars on it.
Lenz posted a "no comment" on the social network Path after he was ordered to leave AOL. His LinkedIn profile also suggests he no longer works for the organisation and is instead a teacher at Miami Ad School.
Up to 500 of Patch's 1,100 employees face being axed from AOL as the company attempts to restructure the unit, which is failing to turn into a profitable business for the one-time internet giant.
Armstrong told his staff: "If you need somebody to blame about why we're making changes at Patch, you can blame me."
You really want to hear Armstrong's latest sacking, don't you? It's over here. ®