Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
America Online The Media

As AOL Prepares To Downsize Patch, CEO Fires Employee During Meeting 248

Posted by timothy
from the now-that's-offsides dept.
An anonymous reader writes "AOL is closing or plans to sell nearly half of the 900 'hyperlocal' news websites operated by its money-losing Patch Media subsidiary (TechCrunch is also owned by AOL). Hundreds of staff layoffs are believed to be imminent. AOL acquired Patch in 2009, soon after ex-Googler Tim Armstrong took over as CEO; Armstrong was also a co-founder of Patch. During a tough conference call last Thursday Armstrong told Patch editors: 'Something at Patch has been missing for some time and that's leadership – leadership with a capital L'. Armstrong then demonstrated his grasp of Donald Trump's management style by firing an employee during the meeting for taking a picture. At 1:18 of the NY Post's sound clip from Jim Romensko: 'Leaking information Patch isn't going to bother me. I'm not changing direction'. At 2:00: 'Abel [Creative Director Lenz], put that camera down. Abel, you're fired. Out.' Armstrong later explained that 'The reason I fired Abel is I don't want anyone taking pictures of this meeting' and that, much like a sports team, AOL couldn't afford to have people 'giving the game plan away'."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

As AOL Prepares To Downsize Patch, CEO Fires Employee During Meeting

Comments Filter:
  • What a dick (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 11, 2013 @02:19PM (#44536741)

    I hope he is treated similarly

    • Re:What a dick (Score:4, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 11, 2013 @03:46PM (#44537225)

      It will be very exciting to watch this company disappear.

    • Re:What a dick (Score:5, Insightful)

      by girlintraining (1395911) on Sunday August 11, 2013 @03:52PM (#44537261)

      I hope he is treated similarly

      If I had stock in AOL, I'd be making the call to sell it all. Now. The reason is as old as humanity itself: True genius doesn't run around telling everyone "I'm a genius!" anymore than true sanity runs around saying "I'm the sanest one here!" If you're pointing out your virtues to others, you have none to speak of.

      Or, to quote the Tao Te Ching, "The best leaders go unnoticed by the people. The next best are loved and praised by the people. Then there are those who are feared by the people.
      Lastly there are those who are despised."

      Guess which one this guy is? He's a shit leader, to enamored with his own self-importance to be useful to an investor. Sell. Sell. Sell now. Sell.

      • Re:What a dick (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Tough Love (215404) on Sunday August 11, 2013 @04:01PM (#44537319)

        If I had stock in AOL, I'd be making the call to sell it all.

        In fact, it looks like an attractive short. 100% runup over period of a year followed by flat for a year, followed by this outburst, certain to drive away whatever talent remains. P/E of 29, that's a little rich for a company with no realistic growth story and a baboon for a CEO. Hmmm.

      • "True genius doesn't run around telling everyone "I'm a genius!" "

        You are right, of course. I save it for Slashdot! ;-)

        "If you're pointing out your virtues to others, you have none to speak of."

        Try that in an interview sometime. There is a humble way and an arrogant way to point out ones own virtues. Since you are into philosophy I'll use an example of right speaking (from the Buddhist 8 way path). If someones life is on the line, and you are more competent than the person or people trying to save them,

        • by eulernet (1132389)

          Since you are into philosophy I'll use an example of right speaking (from the Buddhist 8 way path). If someones life is on the line, and you are more competent than the person or people trying to save them, then it would be not only bad, but possibly deadly, not to point out your virtues.

          Since you are in buddhist philosophy, you should know that the right attitude cannot be thought, it appears spontaneously. The more you think, the farther you are from the correct attitude.

          If you are competent to save a person, but that person prefers another incompetent guy, you can do nothing, and the correct attitude is "to let go", even if a life is at stake.

          It's the same thing with an interview.
          You can be the best profile for a job, but you won't be chosen for a totally random reason.
          If you are miserab

        • Re:What a dick (Score:5, Insightful)

          by VortexCortex (1117377) <(VortexCortex) ( ... -retrograde.com)> on Monday August 12, 2013 @01:23AM (#44539627)

          There is a humble way and an arrogant way to point out ones own virtues. Since you are into philosophy I'll use an example of right speaking (from the Buddhist 8 way path). If someones life is on the line, and you are more competent than the person or people trying to save them, then it would be not only bad, but possibly deadly, not to point out your virtues. Pointing out your virtues is not in and of itself arrogant or egotistical. One can have true humility and still recognize their own strengths and share the knowledge of their existence with others.

          Speaking as a Scientist: That's bullshit. You see, Rational people realize that even the most wise can be foolish at times, and that even the ignorant irrational child has good suggestions sometimes. This is why we weigh the merit of the idea instead of the man. Screw your vitures, that's irrational BS, buddy.

          If the widely accepted wisest and most virtuous person told you to leap into a volcano, and you did so without evaluating the idea itself then you are a fool.

          So, If you think someone is about to make a terrible mistake and you have information that may change their mind -- eg: "The Yogi is Senile!" -- then give it to them even if you are a serial murderer and they a saint.

          It's the value of the message not the messenger that matters.

          • True, but when someone has been giving good messages for awhile, you build up a sense of trust that their next message will be a good one. On the flip side, if someone has been sending bad messages for awhile, you lose all trust in further messages from them. Yes, the person could still be proven right or wrong and go against expectations, but still past performance is considered. If someone who pushed bunk "alternative medicine" cures came out with something that he claimed cured a disease, people would

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by paiute (550198)

        True genius doesn't run around telling everyone "I'm a genius!" anymore than true sanity runs around saying "I'm the sanest one here!" If you're pointing out your virtues to others, you have none to speak of.

        Amen. I think of this whenever I hear a rap singer going on about how tough he is or a country singer going on about how many ragheads he would kill if he only had the chance. Etc. The late Donald Murray, a rifleman in WWII, wrote that the guys who were loudest before combat usually were the ones he could not rely on in a firefight.

    • Re:What a dick (Score:4, Informative)

      by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Sunday August 11, 2013 @04:00PM (#44537311)

      Actually, this is the sort of love/hate behavior that Hollywood celebrities have with cameras. They love to flaunt their stuff in front of cameras . . . when invited to do so. But if you catch them not wearing their best makeup . . . they get violent. See tmz.com for examples . . . like Kayne West assaulting a cameraman in an airport.

      At any rate, I wouldn't want to work for a company that had a spoiled Hollywood baby as a CEO.

      Hey, if you are a big celebrity, and love the fame, deal with it.

    • by shentino (1139071)

      The CEO is an ex-Googler. Google takes NDAs and trade secrets very seriously. This is predictable.

    • Wow, I didn't realize right away, this asshole is yet another product of Google's asshole factory (former president of Google Americas). Should give you an idea what it is like to actually worik there, as opposed to the myth.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I'd tell you what it is really like, but I don't want to be fired.

        But in all honesty (I'm a very honest person) it is really, really great. But I say that coming from Microsoft which is fairly toxic.

        There are frequent reminders that leakers get fired. Microsoft kept all information firewalled off from everyone and it leaked like... something really leaky. Google lets everyone know everything and there are infrequent leaks.

    • I would just shrug and go, "Huh. That was an expensive mistake... managers just don't understand workplace economics these days." Then walk out.

      Firing an employee is the worst thing for a company. It removes the employee's expertise, disrupts current operations, then requires retraining of other employees to cope. The hiring of a new employee then incurs a settling period which costs money, along with the further unsettling of the workplace. It takes months for an employee to adequately grasp their jo

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 11, 2013 @02:21PM (#44536749)

    I'm sure that meeting really helped staff morale!

    • The firings will continue until morale improves!

      • by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojo@NOspaM.world3.net> on Sunday August 11, 2013 @03:05PM (#44536995) Homepage

        He was probably the lucky one. Anyone with talent at that company is polishing their CV instead of working right now.

        • by Lisias (447563)

          He was probably the lucky one. Anyone with talent at that company is polishing their CV instead of working right now.

          As a matter of fact, it's exactly what the bastards wants - leaving people costs less (in money and in PR) that firing people (pun not intended).

          I would like very much to see what would happens if a really lot of people started to taking photos of the meeting after this sad event. Would the CEO fire every single one of them publicly too?

          • by Mateorabi (108522) on Sunday August 11, 2013 @05:14PM (#44537663) Homepage
            The problem is that those most able to leave are the first to do so. The highest talent goes first, leaving the duds that would have a hard time conning a interviewer a second time in a row. Its a sorting process that doesn't pay off for the company.
            • The problem is that those most able to leave are the first to do so. The highest talent goes first, leaving the duds that would have a hard time conning a interviewer a second time in a row. Its a sorting process that doesn't pay off for the company.

              Interesting theory, but not quite the entire picture. I've been "last one out" in a company, not because I wasn't talented, but because I had a misguided feeling of responsibility to the other people involved -- the employees and the customers (and to some degree the shareholders). Would I do it again? Probably not. However, we made sure that the duds left first (and learned that duds often have impressive skills at getting hired). You see, people who aren't very good often hop from job to job, building up an impressive CV, and always leaving before people at the top realize they're all talk and no substance. These people usually stay at a company for 9 months to 2 years, and while there, latch on to some project that is already started and showing promise, often taking over from the high talent who got it started. They leave before they run the project all the way into the ground (or at least before anyone else realizes it) and are able to list the project as a "success" on their CV.

              THESE are the people who are toxic to the company as a whole; duds who just aren't very good (at their job, getting hired, etc) can still be used as effective resources, but the guys who actually play the confidence HR game can destroy a successful company before they realize what's happened.

              Just my 2 cents.

  • by jebus187 (1629435) on Sunday August 11, 2013 @02:23PM (#44536761)
    Was he not supposed to take pictures? He was the creative director; maybe he was just being creative.
    • by Sir_Sri (199544)

      Aside from a lot of companies having a 'cameras past this point are grounds for immediate dismissal', there's also a question of securities liabilities, insider trading, and all of that stuff.

      Also, he was probably looking for an excuse to be rid of the guy.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 11, 2013 @03:14PM (#44537029)

        Abel was taking the picture for the company blog. About a minute earlier in the conference call, Tim said:

        "
        I don’t care what the press says, I don’t care if people leak information. I’ve already lived through that at AOL [...]

        and again:

        "
        I also want to clear up the fact that leaking information or anything around Patch isn’t going to bother me, doesn’t bother me.

        then:

        "Put that camera down, Abel. You're fired. Get out."

        Every other excuse theory in this thread is shot down from by the facts of the recording.

      • by Tough Love (215404) on Sunday August 11, 2013 @03:29PM (#44537129)

        Normal behavior would be to ask the employee to stop the undesirable behavior, then if the behavior persists, disciplinary action could be taken, including termination if other remedies are exhausted. This CEO is an out of control psychopath and a hazard to the company. A lawsuit is inevitable.

        Here is a classic example of a career limiting explosion [wikipedia.org]

        • by gl4ss (559668)

          ..not only that but it seems it was expected behavior.

          anyways, now he has precedence for firing all sort of reporters they employ for their hyperlocal news. because they used a camera.

        • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@NOspaM.gmail.com> on Sunday August 11, 2013 @06:45PM (#44538195) Journal

          Uhhh the CEO is a sociopath...this is news? Sadly MOST CEOs would fit the classic definition of a sociopath, just look up Steve Jobs history some time. The man was several times richer than Woz when they were starting out yet fucked Woz over on one of their very first deals and you can find example after example of similar behavior with just about every CEO of a large company, the current business climate not only encourages but seems to go out of its way to reward sociopath behavior, even when they seriously damage the company.

          And while I truly do hope he sues ultimately it won't touch the CEO as even if they were ordered to pay out millions over this and he destroys the company he'll just get a golden parachute and be pulling this shit at another company soon enough. It is truly mind boggling how these CEOs get paid like rock stars no matter how well or poorly they do, like barons and dukes they are a part of the upper crust and thus never seem to have to worry about the kind of things we peasants have to like doing a decent job, they'll make mountains of money no matter how badly they suck.

          • How can this problem of sociopathic, overpaid CEOs be fixed?

            One way is for employees to show more backbone and solidarity. But how exactly? Everyone else could quit on the spot. That's hardly better than everyone shooting themselves. So, everyone threaten to quit unless the CEO retracts the firing? Don't think that would work either. Everyone could refuse to meet with the CEO, and walk out of the meeting, without quitting. Better, but still not good enough. Probably the CEO would fire everyone for

            • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

              by Anonymous Coward

              Dude. The thing you're suggesting is traditionally called a Union... and the reasons you've observed for not tolerating sociopaths are the reasons they exist.

      • Did firing the guy prevent us from finding out that they are going to can Patch? Nope, looks like they invoked the Streisand effect.
  • More accurately: (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Bieeanda (961632) on Sunday August 11, 2013 @02:26PM (#44536781)
    Dude left Google to hatch his own scheme.

    Dude stayed on after AOL bought his gimmick company.

    Dude lashed out because he's still stuck holding the bag.

    Not that the guy with the camera was being in any way professional, but if this guy wants to make sports analogies, his scull has split down the keel and he just tossed one of the rowers overboard.

    • by Jack9 (11421)

      > Not that the guy with the camera was being in any way professional

      Just because he didn't know how to screen capture? This story has nothing to do with professionalism. It's shocking that a company built on virtual communities has a leader who is so backward.

    • Re:More accurately: (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 11, 2013 @03:16PM (#44537039)

      Dude left Google to hatch his own scheme.

      Dude stayed on after AOL bought his gimmick company.

      Dude lashed out because he's still stuck holding the bag.

      Not that the guy with the camera was being in any way professional, but if this guy wants to make sports analogies, his scull has split down the keel and he just tossed one of the rowers overboard.

      Actually, he has a history of taking pictures of internal conference calls and posting them on the company Intranet. This wasn't an aberration - it was literally his thing. That he was fired for it puts the CEO in a bad light, not the camera operator.

      • by Manfre (631065) on Sunday August 11, 2013 @03:34PM (#44537153) Homepage Journal

        Ran out of mod points, but your post adds some more insight in to the situation. Firing someone for doing what they normally do is a dick move, unless the camera guy was previously told not to do that.

        • by Tough Love (215404) on Sunday August 11, 2013 @05:43PM (#44537829)

          Firing someone for doing what they normally do is a dick move...

          Firing someone in front of the entire company is an utra dick move that arguably puts the company on the wrong side of the law. Don't take my word for it, get some popcorn sit back for the lawsuit. I will go out on a limb here and predict that this asshole's days are numbered as a CEO.

          • Re:More accurately: (Score:4, Informative)

            by Tom (822) on Monday August 12, 2013 @04:06AM (#44540031) Homepage Journal

            Only in the USA...

            My country requires firings to be done in writing, with a signature, specifically to prevent stunts like this. As a matter of fact, a lot of countries have similar laws. In most of the civilized world, this termination would be legally null and void. In some countries, doing it this way would also bar you from following up with a legally correct termination.

            • by cdecoro (882384)

              But why *should* we prevent "stunts like this"? I realize that it would hurt to be the guy that got fired, but so what? I've been fired before, and it sucked, but I got over it. What interest does the rest of the society have in making sure that AOL is a nice place to work? I would rather have a society where starting (and by extension, failing) a business is easier, such that there are more options for someone to jump from one company to the next. The fact is that most companies aren't like this; one can f

              • Re:More accurately: (Score:4, Interesting)

                by Tom (822) on Monday August 12, 2013 @11:21AM (#44541985) Homepage Journal

                But why *should* we prevent "stunts like this"?

                Because it is detrimental to society to let the big ego psychopaths run the show. We could've stayed with anarchy if that's what we wanted. I think we've done fairly well with some more civilization, and not letting bullies get away with everything is a big part of that.

                I've been fired before, and it sucked, but I got over it.

                It's not about being fired, it's about how. There is, by now, extensive scientific literature about the benefits of delayed execution. The human mind is not a one-track machine, there are circuits for immediate reaction, and they don't include the circuits for actually thinking something through (because that takes too long in a life-or-death situation, where 5 seconds make the difference between having and being dinner).

                Forcing someone to put something in writing also slows him down so much that the "this might not be the best idea" circuits in his brain have time to kick in. Because especially in a situation like this, where the CEO does something in front of everyone, even if he thinks "that was dumb" seconds later, very, very few people are great enough to admit their mistake in front of everyone. Most CEOs will believe they need to prove they are strong by following it through.

        • by gbjbaanb (229885) on Sunday August 11, 2013 @06:05PM (#44537983)

          to be fair... he was previously told it was not a problem:

          said Armstrong earlier in the meeting:
          I also want to clear up the fact that leaking information or anything around Patch isn't going to bother me, doesn't bother me.

          Scott Adams, you have a new character ready made for the series.

  • That's ridiculous (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Voyager529 (1363959) <voyager529@NOsPaM.yahoo.com> on Sunday August 11, 2013 @02:27PM (#44536783)

    1.) you say you're missing leadership, yet you're worried that there's a game plan to give away?
    2.) someone takes a picture in the meeting, and you assume it's to upload the game plan to Instagram?
    3.) was there a stated rule against taking pictures? If not, you're firing someone for breaking a rule that wasn't stated? If so, is firing the man really the example you want to set for a first offense, instead of requiring that the image be deleted?
    4.) you're running a subsidiary of a company whose only asset is its name's association with the 1990's...and your subsidiary is losing money...and you're firing people during a meeting, as if that's going to help matters in the slightest?

    Who wants to bet that the next board meeting will involve some chair throwing antics?

    • Who wants to bet that the next board meeting will involve some chair throwing antics?

      Hopefully someone takes a picture........

  • Game plan? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Todd Knarr (15451) on Sunday August 11, 2013 @02:31PM (#44536803) Homepage

    ... "circle the drain" is not a game plan...

  • This (Score:3, Interesting)

    by The Cat (19816) * on Sunday August 11, 2013 @02:32PM (#44536815)

    This shameless staged plag for AOL and associated media properties brought to you by the dumbasses who believe shameless staged events like this are real.

  • So.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bytesex (112972) on Sunday August 11, 2013 @02:37PM (#44536841) Homepage

    there is no picture of that meeting. It was confidential and shit. But, apparently, audio totally A-ok. Is this a clown-company or something?

    • At least read the headline, it clearly said that it's about AOL.

      • by Nerdfest (867930)

        I always assumed that AOL was one of the first companies that started with the trend of removing letters from their name to sound trendy, and the name was pronounced "A-hOLe".

  • by Konster (252488) on Sunday August 11, 2013 @02:46PM (#44536905)

    I wonder where I've been. I've never heard of Patch until I read it here just a few minutes ago.

    Also, the CEO was an unprofessional cock. There were 9000 other, better ways to handle the firing of that employee. This was the wrong way.

    • by jythie (914043)
      Yeah, Patch always struck me as really badly publisized. I found out about it when I was trying to find out about a local news piece and have been hooked since.

      One downside of the backlash against 'long tail' stuff is that we have such a heavy focus on getting as many eyeballs as possible, so most news sites either cater to subcultures or very wide audiences. Finding news that is relavent to small local areas is getting increasingly frustrating.
  • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Sunday August 11, 2013 @02:47PM (#44536911)

    Okay, I can answer that myself [wikipedia.org] after a little Googling. But the larger point is - I'd never heard of this. Maybe they were missing "capital L Leadership", maybe they weren't; but if someone who's actually interested in local news (I subscribe to the local paper) hasn't even heard of your so-called hyper local news organization... You're doing something wrong.

    Also - who whips out a camera during a meeting unless it's already established that's what he's supposed to do? At some level, this in-meeting firing doesn't pass the smell test. Could it have been some kind of bizarre pre-arranged theater?

  • He got his MBA from Donald Trump himself, and the course work consisted of watching the reruns of Apprentice.
  • by linuxwrangler (582055) on Sunday August 11, 2013 @02:55PM (#44536955)

    They killed it months ago. Now they are just dragging the corpse through the streets instead of giving it a proper burial.

    Last year there was an actual reporter posting actual news relevant to and about our town. Readers posted comments - sometimes hundreds on a single article. There were lively discussions about school issues, traffic safety and other local issues with generally one to three new articles every day.

    Then they announced "exciting upgrades." The look and feel of the site went from OK to awful. Our local reporter has been "reassigned to a regional area." The local news is an irregularly updated mish-mash of cut 'n' paste police blotter info posted well after it has already been available on Nixle, reposts from other news sources (and not very local), and "reporting" consisting of things like a brief listing of the city-council agenda followed by an "article" saying "Were you at the meeting? What are your comments?" And still they sometimes can't get any news posted for days. Really?

    They have added lots of "sponsored" Patch localities advertising Planes, Smurfs and the like.

    The "local" reporters are now, if you look at their profiles, all over the country and making errors in articles that just make them look like idiots to anyone actually living here. Reviews and articles about places that closed a year or two ago do not make for credibility.

    Much of the supposedly local news is just repackaged national stats. "How is unemployment in YourLocalTown compared to the rest of the country?" and the like. Other stuff is somewhat local looking blog stuff that turns out to be identical on all the sites.

    It's sad. The site used to be fun and interesting. Too bad they couldn't make it a successful business.

    • They killed it months ago. Now they are just dragging the corpse through the streets instead of giving it a proper burial.

      obligatory Monty Python [youtube.com].

    • by dtobias (262347) <dan@tobias.name> on Sunday August 11, 2013 @04:47PM (#44537529) Homepage

      Whenever any website announces an "exciting upgrade", it usually means they're in the process of screwing up whatever was good about the site before, in favor of whatever their pointy-haired bosses think will make a better business model.

    • The "local" reporters are now, if you look at their profiles, all over the country and making errors in articles that just make them look like idiots to anyone actually living here. Reviews and articles about places that closed a year or two ago do not make for credibility. Much of the supposedly local news is just repackaged national stats. "How is unemployment in YourLocalTown compared to the rest of the country?" and the like. Other stuff is somewhat local looking blog stuff that turns out to be identical on all the sites.

      This American Life had an interesting story on this. Transcript here [thisamericanlife.org] - (skip down to "Act Two. Forgive us our Press Passes").

      tldr: The local news is being outsourced to places that grab data from public record, and then write canned stories with whatever sparse facts they have.

  • don't know about everywhere else, but the NYC edition sucks. Gothamist, dnainfo and some of the local blogs are a lot better. AOL and this google genius should have bought them out or just put Patch under Huffington Post when AOL bought them

  • by Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) on Sunday August 11, 2013 @03:03PM (#44536987) Homepage Journal

    Even the most primitive form of leadership starts with setting an example. An example of self-control makes the leadership more functional.

    A more advanced form is setting clear expectations and communicating them, for example by having a "no photos" rule. One person I read about enjoyed Marine boot camp because unlike his family, the rules were the same from one day to the next.

    Then comes raising new leaders, which is done by mentoring and assigning increasing responsibility. Intimidation creates followers, not leaders.

    If this incident is typical then as a leader I consider him a total loss with no insurance.

  • Game Plan (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dnaumov (453672) on Sunday August 11, 2013 @03:04PM (#44536991)

    AOL couldn't afford to have people 'giving the game plan away

    This is amazing on so many levels. First of all, Abel was taking pictures for the company intranet blog. Like he did on the previous meeting and the meeting before that.
    Second: does Armstrong genuinely think there are people out there, outside of AOL, who actually give a shit what their "game plan" *IS*?

  • by gph1972 (2009588)
    I am surprised that this company has survived this long.
  • by istartedi (132515) on Sunday August 11, 2013 @04:05PM (#44537327) Journal

    The good in Patch was that it put a few extra bucks in the pockets of somebody I know. It really was local, and seemed to be building genuine community. The bad was their e-mail alerts that were not timely or meaningful. I eventually turned them off. Alas, the web site itself just wasn't interesting enough to pull me in on a daily basis. I'm not sure why. The free dead-tree local papers continue to be my source for "the skinny" on stuff that's too local for the biggies (e.g., the bowling alley and the strip club being demolished to make way for condos, that kind of story).

  • by letherial (1302031) on Sunday August 11, 2013 @05:36PM (#44537793)

    The CEO, AKA the leader, tells all management that its missing leadership with a capital L. Im sure he showed real leadership impulsively firing someone in-front of everyone else. O ya, id follow that guy... no where

    As with most CEO's his ego is bigger then his brain................alot bigger.

  • by EmperorOfCanada (1332175) on Sunday August 11, 2013 @08:03PM (#44538609)
    In my experience there is never just one cockroach. This sort of short tempered thing is rarely done in the public eye. Even if the guy were an serial abuser he would still keep it hidden from the public. Thus I suspect that he fits a long pattern of CEOs who do this sort of public stress related nonsense only as they are cracking under unimaginable stress. Rarely this stress is caused by their own imminent firing as that is usually hidden from them until the trap door is sprung. This sort of stress is caused by really bad numbers. Numbers so bad there is just no spinning them. Numbers that not only say things are bad now, but numbers that say, there is no recovering from this. Normally these CEO types are able to delude themselves through screwing with the numbers but at a certain point the numbers are rotten no matter how much tempura you dip them in.

    I saw this just before Air Canada did their bankruptcy, I saw this before Nortel went busto, even Sun before its long hard slide started having upper management go a bit off.

    My favorite one was a tiny corner store when I was a kid. We went in and a friend of mine each had around $1.50 I paid for something but my friend asked how much a certain product was, The owner said, "$1.70" My friend said, "Oh that is 20 cents more than before" and put it back. The guy started screaming "Are you begrudging me 20 f*****g cents?" He then picked up a bat from behind the counter and chased my friend out of the store. The next day there was a big red notice on the door saying that the locks had been changed and that he could get back in his store when he paid the last 6 months rent.

    So when I see CEOs acting insanely I see that stressed-to-the-max store owner from all those years ago. So if I were playing the stock market I know I would bet hard against AOL.

    Or maybe the guy is a dick 24 hours a day and this just leaked out for the world to see. I'm betting.... both.
  • by Greyfox (87712) on Sunday August 11, 2013 @09:52PM (#44539021) Homepage Journal
    Have they tried "sucking less?" I hear that's a pretty good game plan! Try sucking less as a human being, as a CEO and as a company and maybe you won't bleed customers like that scene from The Shining!
  • When Does Lenz post the pictures he took?
    And where are they?

    They're now the most interesting pictures on the net. But he better be quick and post them, because the internets will have moved on by tomorrow.
     

One picture is worth 128K words.

Working...