AOL named a new editor for TechCrunch on Monday after 10 days of uncertainty and controversy over the fate of the founder of the site, Michael Arrington.
Here’s the official statement we received from AOL spokeswoman Maureen Sullivan: “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.”
Arrington commented on the matter briefly at a TechCrunch conference in San Francisco, saying “It’s no longer, I think, a good situation for me to stay at TechCrunch….I will no longer be an employee of TechCrunch or in any way an employee of AOL…” and calling it “a sad day.” On stage, he also wore a tshirt which read ‘Unpaid Blogger’ — a jab at his former boss Arianna Huffington.
“This is the shirt I’ll be wearing this week,” Arrington said. “At one point my boss, Arianna Huffington, said I could at most be an unpaid blogger for TechCrunch and I’m now an unpaid blogger.”
Arrington also said he’d continue to run the CrunchFund, where AOL will remain an investor. In an internal memo from AOL CEO Tim Armstrong, he stated:
“Finally, I’d like to announce that Michael Arrington, the founder of TechCrunch, has decided to move on from TechCrunch and AOL to his newly formed venture fund. TechCrunch continues to be a part of the AOL Huffington Post Media Group. AOL will maintain its initial investment in Michael Arrington’s fund and AOL Ventures will oversee our investment in the fund.”
Mr. Arrington will be missed. As he stated previously, “I am TechCrunch and TechCrunch is me.” However, we are hiring.