Last Wednesday, Fortune reported that AOL and TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington had decided to part ways — following a messy dispute revolving around a VC fund that Arrington had launched with AOL’s consent and investment. Today, AOL (AOL) made it official.
In a brief statement, the company said:
“The TechCrunch acquisition has been a success for AOL and for our shareholders, and we are very excited about its future. Michael Arrington, the founder of TechCrunch has decided to move on from TechCrunch and AOL to his newly formed venture fund. Michael is a world-class entrepreneur and we look forward to supporting his new endeavor through our investment in his venture fund. Erick Schonfeld has been named the editor of TechCrunch. TechCrunch will be expanding its editorial leadership in the coming months.”
That’s right, “decided to move on.” Couldn’t AOL have had the Carol Bartz-like bluntness to say what actually happened: Arianna Huffington didn’t realize the PR blowback that would be caused by CrunchFund, changed her mind and ultimately won an internal power struggle with Tim Armstrong (after intense negotiations that nearly were successful late last week)? There, was that so hard?
No word yet on whether or not Arrington will be allowed to launch a new blog (or even if he would want to do so), or other terms of his severance arrangement. One other mystery, however, was just solved: Arrington is appearing at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco today, where he appeared on stage to share the news of his departure.
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