Michael Arrington will be fired from AOL, Dan Primack of Fortune reports.Not just TechCrunch–AOL:
Fortune has learned that AOL executives have decided to terminate Arrington. It is unclear how this will officially occur. Maybe a pink slip. Maybe Arrington submits a (public?) letter of resignation. Maybe Tim Armstrong simply gives Arrington a phone call, and he quickly dashes off a note to TechCrunch employees on his iPad.
In other words, the ending has been written but much of the final chapter remains blank. This includes the fate of CrunchFund, which still includes that pesky AOL commitment (which it technically could default on, but that would lead to all sorts of other problems).
Primack said he has been “led to believe” that this decision is final, but he observes–wisely, given the events of recent days–that decisions at AOL can change.
The details, apparently, have yet to be worked out.
We suspect they will include a full payout of Mike Arrington’s TechCrunch earnout, a non-compete clause, and a non-disparagement clause.
It’s not clear what will happen to AOL’s commitment to Arrington’s CrunchFund VC fund. It’s also not clear whether AOL will allow him to participate in TechCrunch’s conferences.
Mike’s departure from AOL seemed the only likely outcome of the Arrington-AOL war, which escalated yesterday when Arrington issued an aggressive ultimatum in a post on TechCrunch, from which he had already been ousted.
Dan Primack reached out to both AOL and Mike Arrington for comment. Neither responded.
More when we get it…
UPDATE: Kara Swisher says her sources say things are still “chaotic”–ie, no firm decision yet.
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