Recently, the news has been filled with the latest comings and goings (and speculation around who’s next) among some of the Internet space’s heavyweights, starting with the A-list blogger Michael Arrington of TechCrunch. In case you lost your scorecard, here’s a recap:
OUT – Michael Arrington of TechCrunch – The TechCrunch founder (and start-up maker or breaker) recently sold his platform to AriannaOL. Arrington played the press like a fiddle during the period that he started a venture (with some of AOL’s money) and was rumored to be let go when he wrote a post on TechCrunch explaining to her highness, Arianna, that it was either editorial independence for TC or he would like to buy it back. He pushed just far enough to get officially fired. Don’t worry, he’ll land on his feet, as will the top end of the TC editorial crowd. As for now though, it looks like all “you know what” has broken out at TechCrunch.
RUMORED – Tim Armstrong of AOL – The former Google exec, who founded a company called Patch, was then made CEO of AOL, the company that just so happened to buy Patch. Talk about a roundabout way of getting investment dollars. AOL has made many starts and stops under his leadership, and is still considered a dark horse in the race with Yahoo! back to relevance. Armstrong is also in the headlines less and less due to Arianna’s “presence” in the AOL family since her HuffPo was bought by AOL. All in all, Armstrong is looking weaker than ever and the rumor mill is beginning to churn that his days may be numbered. After all, a current employee is more dynamic than he, and a former employee makes more news leaving than AOL can in trying to make things like Patch work.
OUT – Carol Bartz of Yahoo– Master of the English language expletive, Bartz was given her pink slip this week by phone by the Yahoo board. We have watched her leave an “F bomb”-laden trail of who knows what over the past nearly three years. I’ll give her this, she is entertaining. She has told Michael Arrington to “F off” and on her way out the door the reports are that she is claiming that Yahoo “f$#&d me over” . She points to her board as having no class but a mirror may be in order for making that statement. She just oozes class, doesn’t she?
RUMORED – Andrew Mason of Groupon– OK, I admit it. I have not seen any other people make this call other than, well, me over at Marketing Pilgrim. Why do I think this should be a serious consideration? Well, do the math. Hmmm, let’s see though, if you do the math like Groupon does math don’t go looking for an approval for an IPO. Mason has built a giant hype machine that has been called a house of cards and a Ponzi scheme and he still thinks it’s OK to answer his critics during his IPO quiet period with a memo that was “leaked” to Kara Swisher of All Things Digital for the investing world to see. Mason gives it the irreverent shrug of the shoulders saying “Oops, my bad! That wasn’t supposed to happen (wink, wink, nod, nod). Irreverent? Maybe. Stupid? Definitely. If Groupon wants to be known as a real company it should have adults at the helm, not guys who find it funny to thumb their nose at convention then wonder what all the fuss is about.
So that’s what is going on in the Internet space as of late. What was the title of this post? Enough already! This soap opera aura that this space gives off is making it look like a joke. Imagine how far along the industry might be if it wasn’t full of headline-grabbing, egomaniacal, self-servers.
Oh wait, that’s just like every other industry.