Would You Fire an Employee for Broadcasting an Internal Meeting?
The blogosphere erupted late Friday with news that AOL Chief Executive Tim Armstrong had spontaneously fired an employee in front of 1,000 of his coworkers. It occurred during a mass conference call to discuss the downsizing of AOL's foundering local-news division Patch. The offender, Patch's creative director Abel Lenz, had apparently tried to photograph the boss during the call. "Abel, put that camera down right now," Armstrong said, according to a recording obtained by JimRomenesko.com. "Abel, you're fired. Out!"
The exact motivation behind Armstrong's firing remains unclear. Yet, in an increasingly connected world, it begs the question: How does a boss handle employees who consider sharing company news as natural as tweeting their lunch? Should leaders start every meeting with a reminder that discussions are not to leave the building, much the same as theater goers are told to turn off their cell phones? Or should it be understood -- and the employee's head if violated?
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