The U.S.’s net job creation was zero last month, and now we know of at least one job that was lost this month.
TechCrunch has lost its founder and editor in chief, Michael Arrington, who is stepping down to concentrate on his $20 million AOL-backed tech venture capital fund full time, according to AOL Huffington Post editor-in-chief Arianna Huffington, in an email to The Business Insider.
“Mr. Arrington is not being paid by TechCrunch, he does not report to TechCrunch editors, and he does not report to Arianna Huffington or other AOL Huffington Post Media Group personnel, Ms. Huffington adds in an email to Business Insider,” the blog reported.
TechCrunch co-editor Erick Schonfeld will assume the role of interim editor until AOL finds a replacement for Arrington, The Wall Street Journal reported.
At time of writing, TechCrunch had yet to acknowledge the news on its website, and Arrington had refrained from comment as well, aside from posting a few updates on his Twitter feed including the comment “Slow news day,” after the news broke late last night.
Schonfeld, too, has remained conspicuously tight-lipped, tweeting “Never a dull moment.”
AOL purchased gadget blog TechCrunch for a reported $30 million in September 2010. AOL then turned around and bought The Huffington Post for a reported $315 million in February this year, installing Arianna Huffington as editor-in-chief of the combined company’s blogs and by extension, making her Arrington’s boss.
Full disclosure: I used to work for AOL News as a staff blogger and was around when it acquired TechCrunch but was no longer with the company when it bought The Huffington Post.
Arrington, 41, who started TechCrunch back in 2005 after years as an online business entrepreneur, is a controversial figure among tech bloggers and journalists - partially due to his outspoken personality and brash responses to criticism.
Arrington also has a history of blurring the lines between editorial and business interests, having invested in companies TechCrunch has written about. AOL “prohibits reporters at its media sites, including those at The Huffington Post, from investing in the companies they cover. But AOL has made an exception for Mr. Arrington, who has been the site’s editor,” the New York Times reported.
The fact that his new VC fund, CrunchFund, is reportedly being funded in part by former employer AOL through its AOL Ventures program, is unlikely to dampen charges that his interests often conflict.
It should also be noted that Arrington hasn’t hesitated to criticize and poke-fun at the corporate structure of AOL since after his company was acquired by the struggling, former dot-com dial-up giant.
In a TechCrunch post dated Aug. 15, Arrington blasted parent AOL’s editorial expenses filing program, saying “give your loyal employees a break. Don’t make them feel like criminals for trying to get legitimate expenses approved and paid in a timely manner. In the end, this is just a self-imposed competitive disadvantage against nimbler companies.”