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AOL CEO apologizes for public firing of employee

Aug. 13, 2013 at 8:23 PM   |   Comments

NEW YORK, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- AOL Chief Executive Officer Tim Armstrong Tuesday issued an apology for publicly firing the creative director of the U.S. Internet company's Patch subsidiary.

AOL's Tim Armstrong said in a note to staffers he has apologized to Abel Lenz, who was fired during a Patch meeting Friday after allegedly recording a confidential meeting after being warned following an earlier incident, journalism watchdog organization Poynter.org reported.

"I am writing you to acknowledge the mistake I made last Friday during the Patch all-hands meeting when I publicly fired Abel Lenz," Armstrong wrote. "It was an emotional response at the start of a difficult discussion dealing with many people's careers and livelihoods. ...

"We talk a lot about accountability and I am accountable for the way I handled the situation, and at a human level it was unfair to Abel. I've communicated to him directly and apologized for the way the matter was handled at the meeting. ...

"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. On Friday I acted too quickly and I learned a tremendous lesson and I wanted you to hear that directly from me."

CNET.com reported the apology did not come with an offer for his job back, noting Lenz's LinkedIn profile lists "Creative Director at AOL Patch.com" as a former position. His current position is a teacher at Miami Ad School, the tech media news website said.

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