Firing A Top Manager During Conference Call

As you can see at Jim Romenesko blog or at NY Post and also at Business Insider Tim Armstrong, the CEO of Aol, fired the Creative Director of (a money losing subsidiary of Aol) during an important conference call for Patch. The reason? Abel Lenz was taking pictures of the meeting with his mobile phone (as usual, it seems).

“Abel, put that camera down. You’re fired. Out.” said Armstrong.

About 99% of the opinions expressed on the blogosphere are strongly sympathetic with Abel Lenz. To quote from Slashdot:

  • “I hope he [Armstrong] is treated similarly”
  • “If I had stock in AOL, I’d be making the call to sell it all. Now.”
  • “This CEO is an out of control psychopath and a hazard to the company. A lawsuit is inevitable.”
  • “Honestly it sounds like the standard 90s coke fueled executive ideal to me”

Huh? Are these commenters frickin’ joking? Have anyone ever heard of any crisis conference call, where hundreds of people are to be told they are fired, with mounting financial losses in the millions, where some clown manager keeps click-clicking around with his frickin’ mobile?

My vote goes 100% to Tim Armstrong on this one. Let the dogs bark, Armstrong did the right thing at the right moment.

About Catalin

I am an entrepreneur focused on the Arab and Russian Internet market. The companies I am currently investing in are located in Alexandria (Egypt), Arkhangelsk (Russia), Kharkiv (Ukraine), Hong Kong (China).

From my perspective any business must be done in a way that harmonizes the interest of both sides, for the long term benefit of all the parties involved. Business must be absolutely kept separated from politics and religion.

We’re living in an interconnected world; the world economy is now a global market.

Business heroes: Henry Ford, Alfred Sloan, John C. Malone, Steve Jobs, Steve Case, Larry Ellison, Dennis O’Brien. ‘Nuff said!