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Tim Armstrong, Patch, And AOL

Tim Armstrong, Patch, And AOL



vidmateAP/Illustration by Mike Nudelman
On an overcast Friday afternoon previous August, a hundred or so employees of AOL's neighborhood information subsidiary, Patch, crammed into a cafeteria at the firm's headquarters in Manhattan. Yet another several hundred linked to the room through conference phone.
They ended up waiting to hear CEO Tim Armstrong deliver lousy news.
The cafeteria's lights ended up very low, and the semi-darkness mirrored the mood. So did the system language. People today slumped over the cafeteria's tables, shoulders lower. They stood all around the edges of the room with their arms crossed in front of them.
This was Armstrong's next pay a visit to to Patch that week. Two times previously, Armstrong experienced come to the office environment and explained to everybody he planned to honor a guarantee he'd manufactured to AOL's shareholders to make Patch financially rewarding by the close of the calendar year. He experienced reported he was heading to satisfy with AOL's board of administrators the following working day to make your mind up on a strategy. He had claimed he would come again Friday to announce it.
Jim RomeneskoNow, the gathered Patch workers anticipated to listen to the depressing specifics: Making Patch rewarding, presumably, would include mass layoffs - layoffs that would most likely include things like lots of persons in the place.
Armstrong stood at the front of the area in opposition to a white wall, carrying a dark accommodate and no tie.
He commenced his speech in his common deep monotone: "There are a couple factors I want you fellas to understand and genuinely consider about and enable sink in. And if it doesn't sink in and you do not think what I am about to say, I'm going to talk to you to depart Patch. I really don't suggest that in a severe way, I indicate that we have to get Patch to a location where by it really is heading to be prosperous, and effective for a lengthy time."
Armstrong, who experienced been the initial revenue boss at Google, is famous for his rally-the-troops speeches. If not for the feeling of dread that accompanied it, this just one might have been winding up to be another.
Heating up, Armstrong talked about how "you can blame me" for every little thing that has absent incorrect at Patch, and "I will not treatment what the push suggests." He commanded absolutely everyone in the room to entirely dedicate on their own to the company.
Then something bizarre happened.
Armstrong interrupted himself to say, "Abel, put that digital camera down correct now."
Then, without having getting a breath, he claimed, "Abel, you might be fired."
For 5 seconds, the area went silent.
Finally, Armstrong started off talking once again. He mentioned: "If you men imagine that AOL has not been fully commited to Patch, and is not going to remain committed to Patch, you're improper."
These were being motivational terms that ordinarily would have fired up anyone in the place. But they didn't
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