Last month, reports emerged that TechCrunch CEO Heather Harde, who since TechCrunch was acquired by AOL, has actually been general manager of AOL’s technology properties, had handed in her resignation.
Today, it’s official. She’ll be stepping down at the end of the year. TechCrunch Editor Erick Schonfeld wrote his goodbye in the form of a TechCrunch post. “I am truly sorry to see her go. She is an amazing business partner and a rare talent. Just one example: Last year, when Heather was negotiating the final deal terms with AOL to purchase TechCrunch, she ran the conference during the day without a hiccup, and then literally stayed up all night to get the deal done in time for it to be announced on stage the next day,” he wrote.
“AOL GM Jay Kirsch, who oversees Autos, Finance, and Industry on the business side, will be adding Tech to his responsibilities,” Schonfeld noted. “Editorially, TechCrunch will remain independent under me. (Editorial and business groups are separate at AOL).”
On the post, TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington commented, “It's like watching the movie Titanic. You know exactly how it all ends, but you keep hoping it won't.”
AOL is probably loving comments like that, especially being an investor in Arrington’s CrunchFund.
Arrington also wrote a lengthy post about the situation beginning with, “I’m so angry.”
He goes on to sing plenty of praise for Harde, rehash previous AOL/TechCrunch drama, imply that everything is falling apart because of Arianna Huffington’s ego, and say that he believes AOL CEO Tim Armstrong will still figure everything out and “save the day”.
He also throws in a reminder that he’s a shareholder in AOL.
“Other than dial up, TechCrunch is/was the most profitable and fastest growing business unit inside of Aol,” he wrote. “That, ultimately, is why everything fell apart.”