AOL Patch upheaval: Hundreds of layoffs but also new CEO

AOL Patch upheaval: Hundreds of layoffs but also new CEO

Summary: AOL's CEO has been defensive in the past about Patch's value, stressing that it has just been an investment needing more time. Is time running out?


Things are getting rough (more so than usual) over at AOL's hyper-local news service, Patch.

According to a report from TechCrunch (also an AOL subsidiary), CEO Tim Armstrong confirmed two important personnel changes:

  1. There are at least "hundreds" of layoffs coming soon.
  2. Patch is getting a new CEO: Bud Rosenthal.
The new CEO of Patch: Bud Rosenthal.

Rosenthal replaces Steven Kalin, who appears to have been shown the door quietly earlier this week.

However, he is still listed as Patch's chief executive on the company's management team page.

AOL itself hasn't published a statement yet as of the time this article was originally published.

Up until now, Rosenthal has been president of paid services and membership at AOL while also overseeing global services, such as customer support and billing for the Internet company.

Prior to his stint at AOL, Rosenthal has also held leadership positions at Yahoo, RealNetworks, and served as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Charles River Ventures.

It has been plainly evident to anyone following the history of Patch that the beleaguered news site is in need of changes.

Armstrong has been defensive in the past about the property's value, stressing that it has just been an investment needing more time.

But based on the latest turn of events, time is running out. Thus, perhaps a dramatic shift at the top could stave off future layoffs.

As for the present, 400 Patch sites are on the chopping block to either be merged with another site -- or shuttered altogether.

Image via AOL

Topics: IT Employment, Apps, CXO, Tech Industry, Social Enterprise

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  • Just die already AOL! Please

    What amazes me is that AOL is still kicking? It keeps shrinking employee's and customer service really must be bad by now. Must only have a few people even working anymore. I tried to fix my Daughter's account because she unfortunately linked it with Apple's account. I could barely understand the guy doing customer service. Wanted me to reactivate the account to a premium service for $20 a month!! I told him I just wanted the user account activated nothing else. Would NEVER pay anything for AOL services. EVER!
    • JohnnyES...I totally agree....AOL should just die already

      I have a quite a few older friend that live in the NY market that refuse to move away from AOL and all I ever hear from them is the conflicts constantly accuring between Com-cast, AOL, Nortons, McAfee, W-XP, Vista, W-7 I.E., Etc. They get droped signals, Mail shows up late if at all, long down times and they get is "try again later" The funny thing is they pay for this crap servise. If they try to get it corrected Comcast says its AOL or Nortons fault and AOL say its all Comcasts and Nortons fault and after all is said and done, nothing gets corrected and all these companies want to do is keep selling them more services to correct the other companies mistakes.

      Their is that old saying that holds true today........You can lead a horse to water .... but you can't make him drink
      Over and Out
  • Patch made their choices, and they "chose poorly".

    Each of the New Hampshire Patch sites is very little more than a free outlet for Right Wing propaganda. The various AstroTurf organizations know that Patch is desperate for content, they're happy to provide it daily, and the local editors are happy to accept it because the flaming, vile discussion that each story provokes drives "clicks" to their sites. But these same discussions also drive away many potential readers, writers, and *ADVERTISERS*; those losses are a lot less visible to the folks who run Patch than the daily click counts.

    Now, the chickens are coming home to roost. When you allow a site to become a cesspool, people eventually decide that it stinks. I'm sorry for any of my friends, the local editors who are "impacted", but you (and your bosses) made your choices about how to run your sites.
  • Publicity Stunt!

    I didn't even know AOL was still around, and I never heard of this wannabe news site "Patch"... this whole thing reeks of a publicity stunt.