TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington certainly thinks so. Heather Harde, the “business brains” behind TechCrunch, is leaving the company she helped turn into a multi-million dollar business. Arrington, who was noisily fired by Huffington in September, contends this most recent departure at AOL is another casualty “of Arianna’s ego.” The CEO of one of AOL’s most profitable properties should’ve “been embraced and treasured,” he says on his blog, but instead had to deal “with constant verbal abuse from HuffPo execs” who “refer to her by the ‘c’ word.”
Aol needs to decide whether it exists for the benefit of stockholders, users and employees, or whether it exists for the greater glorification of Arianna Huffington. She’s waging this political power war inside of Aol against anyone who stands “against” her. But no one’s fighting back because that’s not how they see the world. Instead they just drift off, to create real value at other companies who actually value them.
Harde became TechCruch CEO in 2007, and helped broker last year’s sale of the company to AOL for $30 million. Since the acquisition, she has also served as general manager of AOL’s technology properties. Harde’s last day at the company will be December 31.