Listen to the conference call above. Abel gets fired around 2:00.
Patch is a company that you’ve probably never heard of. Long story short, it’s a localized site that tries to encompass local news and businesses into one easy-to-access place. The only catch is that it’s run by AOL, you’ve never heard of it, and (thanks to Jim Romenesko) they just got the worst press they’ve ever gotten in the history of the company.
From Yahoo Business:
The day before the call, during AOL’s Q2 earnings call, [AOL CEO Tim] Armstrong told Wall Street analysts that Patch would shrink from 900 to 600 websites.
Patch employees took Armstrong’s comments to mean that hundreds of them would soon lose their jobs.
Obviously, this sent morale plummeting.
The call was supposed to be Armstrong’s attempt to rally the troops.
During the first minute or so of the recording, Armstrong says things like: “If you don’t believe what I’m about to say, I’m going to ask you to leave Patch…We have to get Patch into a place where it’s going to be successful.”
But then things go suddenly awry.
Yeah, Abel. Way to be a d*ck and try and take a photo of what’s going on.
“Guys, the most important thing about this conference call is that I want to assure you that I won’t be upset about information being leaked. Abel, are you documenting this? You’re fired.”