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An AOL Employee Was Publicly Fired During a Conference Call

Tim Armstrong, CEO of AOL Inc., speaks at the Society of American Business Editors and Writers 2013 Spring Conference in Washington, D.C.
Tim Armstrong, CEO of AOL Inc., speaks at the Society of American Business Editors and Writers 2013 Spring Conference in Washington, D.C.Photograph by Pete Marovich/Bloomberg

Update Aug. 13, 6:30 p.m.: Updated with details about Tim Armstrong’s apology.

Just a week after editorial staffers at Cleveland’s Plain Dealer were laid off over the phone, one unfortunate employee of AOL’s local news operation, Patch.com, suffered an even more undignified termination: He was reportedly fired by Chief Executive Officer Tim Armstrong during a conference call this morning. That means about a thousand people were listening in when the boom came down. So much for being discreet. In a cruel twist, the subject of the call was the company’s forthcoming layoffs.