The Most Talked About Creative Director in America

Abel Lenz via Google+

Abel Lenz via Google+

Graphic Design Jobs: The Creative Director

A Google search of “Abel Lenz” shows more than 1.2 million pages, most of which were created only since he was publicly fired by AOL’s CEO, Tim Armstrong, on Friday during a company-wide conference call with an estimated 1000 employees listening in. Here’s an excerpt from media blogger

I don’t care what the press says, I don’t care if people leak information. I’ve already lived through that at AOL — when I took over AOL — so if you need somebody to blame for why we’re making changes at Patch you can blame me. I take full responsibility. …

I also want to clear up the fact that leaking information or anything around Patch isn’t going to bother me, doesn’t bother me. Third thing is if you don’t use Patch as a product and you’re not invested in Patch, you owe it to everybody else at Patch to leave. If you think what’s going on right now is a joke, and you want to joke around about it, you should pick your stuff up and leave Patch today, and the reason is, and I’m going to be very specific about this, is Patch from an experience…

Not exactly warm and fuzzy. In fact, Armstrong could learn something from our contributor, Sam Harrison’s feature story – Create a Nurturing Environment for Bold Ideas. The next part is what all of American media is talking about when Armstrong goes from not worrying about leaked information to:

Abel, put that camera down right now! Abel, you’re fired. Out!

Followed by what Romenesko calls a “momentary pause” then:

If you guys think that AOL has not 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 is committed, I’m committed. ….

CEO Tim Armstrong via AOL

CEO Tim Armstrong via AOL

Those 11 words firing Abel Lenz have been front page news and left Armstrong to issue an apology, not to Lenz, but to his staff:

“I am writing you to acknowledge the mistake I made last Friday during the Patch all-hands meeting when I publicly fired Abel Lenz. It was an emotional response at the start of a difficult discussion dealing with many people’s careers and livelihoods. I am the C.E.O. and leader of the organization, and I take that responsibility seriously.”

The apology goes on for three more paragraphs and was no doubt leaked to the press for damage control. In it, he justifies the firing saying Lenz had been asked to stopped videotaping meetings. Media from the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal to Business Insider and are reporting on it. Lenz has made no statements yet, but social media voices are betting he gets a new job soon. As a creative director, he no doubt has experience for numerous graphic design jobs.  Even former Gov. Mike Huckabee would like to help:


My bet is on Lenz.


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