Michael Arrington is out (officially) at AOL, per a statement issued Monday:
“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.”
This ends more than a week of speculation about what place Arrington, who founded TechCrunch and was its editor-in-chief, held at AOL, which purchased the site for $25 million last September. Arrington announced earlier this month that he would lauching a $20 million venture fund, which AOL invested $10 million in, sparking a media maelstrom due to the apparent conflict of interest.
AOL's position on what Arrington's role was seemed ill-defined while Arrington and several of his devotees at TechCrunch were outspoken about the need to maintain the site's editorial integrity, a condition to AOL's $25 million purchase last year.
AOL seems to have tried to push out Arrington and keep the site's employees happy at the same time. Erick Schonfeld, previously Arrington's second in command, has been promoted to the top spot, satisfying the demand of those at TechCrunch that the next editor come from within.
However, AOL's statement suggests future changes may be on the way given the line about the site "expanding its editorial leadership" in the future.
This decision also came on the day that TechCrunch's annual conference, TechCrunch Disupt, started in San Francisco.