AOL CEO apologizes for firing employee on conference call

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WASHINGTON – The head of AOL apologized to his staff after he fired an employee during an internal conference call last week.

Last Friday, CEO Tim Armstrong fired an employee during a conference call with more than 1,000 employees of Patch, the local news service that AOL runs for hundreds of towns. Armstrong fired Patch’s creative director, Abel Lenz during the call as Lenz was videotaping it, according to The New York Times.

“Abel, put that camera down right now! Abel, you’re fired. Out!” Armstrong said in a recording of the conference call that was leaked to news outlets.

Armstrong issued an apology to the Patch team Tuesday saying “It was an emotional response at the start of a difficult discussion dealing with many people’s careers and livelihoods,” according to The New York Times.

Armstrong added in his apology that Patch’s confidential meetings should not be recorded and that Lenz had received prior warnings about recording them.

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