Patch match AOL’s tactless terminations

Patch may no longer be part of the AOL group, having been sold to Hale Global earlier this year, but it seems old habits die hard as more employees were given their cards via conference call.

Picking up where Tim Armstrong, AOL’s cheif executive officer (CEO), (in)famously left off in August last year, Patch’s chief operating officer (COO), Leigh Zarelli Lewis, also decided that sacking staff during a conference call was the way to go.

However, Zarelli Lewis went the extra mile with her telephonic termination – not only did she dismiss hundreds of employees during the call, she signed off with “Thank you and good luck.”

Quite.

Click on the player below to listen to the full call…

AOL – committed to Patch?

Not only was this a very impersonal, not to mention unprofessional, way to relieve employees of their duties, it must have seemed like another kick in the teeth to staff who had seen Patch sold on by AOL despite Tim Armstong’s assertions that AOL were fully committed to the project.

Speaking during the infamous “Abel, you’re fired” conference call, Armstrong told Patch employees: “If you guys [Patch employees) thinks AOL hasn’t been committed to Patch and won’t stay committed to Patch, you’re wrong. The company has spent hundreds of millions of dollars, the board of directors has committed, I’m committed…”

So committed that Patch was sold five months later.

If you missed that particular piece of conference call gold, click on the player below…

The wrong way to fire

It would be interesting to see what the dismissal procedure is at AOL, and by extension Patch – if this is considered acceptable then serious questions need to be asked.

There is no easy way to dismiss an employee as it is such as life-changing event for all concerned, but to do so in such an impersonal manner (in the case of Patch) and such a knee-jerk and unprofessional manner (in the case of AOL) is clearly not a good way to go about it.

At the very least, both Armstrong and Zarelli Lewis should have taken a step back and considered how they would feel if they were given the same news in such a manner.

Business is hard, but it doesn’t always have to be so hard-faced.

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