Why Did AOL CEO Tim Armstrong Fire Someone On A Conference Call?

“Abel, put that camera down! Abel—you’re fired. Out!”

This is what 1,000 Patch employees heard on Friday when AOL CEO Tim Armstrong fired an employee in the midst of a conference call about Patch’s massive layoffs.

In the moments leading up to the outburst, Armstrong took full responsibility for Patch’s fate, and said that anybody not fully committed to the company’s mission needed to leave. At some point during this speech someone near Armstrong raised a camera toward him, at which point Armstrong fired him and continued with the call.

Some say that this was creative director Abel Lenz, though that’s not confirmed.

One anonymous Patcher told Romenesko that Armstrong later explained, “The reason I fired Abel before was I don’t want anyone taking pictures of this meeting.”

AOL is laying off hundreds of Patch employees this week, as many of the brand’s 1,000 sites were losing significant amounts of money. Armstrong put himself in charge of Patch, and promised to refocus the company.

Listen to the firing below:

[h/t Romenesko]

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