AOL CEO Tim Armstrong was interviewed on stage today at TechCrunch’s Disrupt conference in London. As well as explaining that there are no “explicit talks” about a deal with Yahoo, Armstrong also discussed the idea of Michael Arrington’s return to TechCrunch.
Startup news site TechCrunch was founded by former lawyer Michael Arrington in a rented house in Silicon Valley in 2005. From those humble beginnings, the site became a dominant name in the growing startup world, especially as it launched a series of events and conferences.
In 2010 it was announced that TechCrunch had been sold to AOL for an unnamed figure (it was reported at the time to be around $US25 million). Arrington had always been known as an outspoken figure, unafraid to tackle head-on the perceived wrongs he saw in the technology world. That didn’t change after the AOL acquisition.
Following the acquisition, Michael Arrington started his own investment fund, CrunchFund, a personal project unrelated to AOL’s investment. This was perceived by many as a conflict of interest with his role as an editor at startup news site TechCrunch. After a wave of outraged news articles covering the move, Arrington eventually resigned from his roles at TechCrunch and AOL.
Speculation has existed for years over whether Michael Arrington will ever rejoin the site he founded. Speaking about Arrington, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong made it clear that he was welcome to re-join the company. Armstrong said on stage that “Mike has an open job offer to be Chairman of TechCrunch. I keep in touch with him. Mike knows how I feel about him eventually coming back.”