Eek, I guess I have to post this, since it dropped in my lap. Though I so didn't want another fight with AOL's Jason Calacanis. Some aggrieved colleague posted a comment on the personal site of the former blog impresario, so excoriating of Jonathan Miller, AOL's ousted boss, that Calacanis deleted it. But not before some canny reader made a copy, which Valleywag has received.
For the unitiated, Calacanis is a protege of Jon Miller. (He's also a former competitor of Gawker Media, which owns this blog, blah blah.) Calacanis, who has turned AOL's Netscape.com into the main rival to Digg, has posted an executive eulogy to the quiet samurai that Miller was, on his personal blog. By the way, touching, but not very politic, to describe the outgoing boss as a mentor, quite so publicly. Unless you're planning to quit anyway under the new regime. Here's the deleted comment:
Jon was a dullard, know-nothing buffoon who accomplished only stultifying failures in 4 years at AOL. Jon may have finally been headed the right direction at the end, but it was too little, way too late.
[Personally abusive para redacted.]
Spare us your crocodile tears over the passing of Jon Miller. He'll walk with tens of millions from AOL, having lost, wasted andmissed hundreds of millions.
Good riddance to you both... take Bankoff and Wilson with you.
And another comment that mysteriously disappeared:
An executive over 4 years that put more incompetent people in high-places (e.g., McKinley) while firing (Govern) and letting reams of talented folks (e.g., Kotay, list-o-long) leave that were passionate and—at least—somewhat competent, and were actually trying to foster some core innovation and synergy.
Jason, I think you can feel this way, to some degree, because your company was "acquired."
This has now become the de facto method of innovating at AOL. This does not translate into a good strategy, good management, or good leadership. There has been no vision at the top in years. The real mission: squeeze the finances, outsource, drain the talent that remains, buy "innovation," and ossify against dissenters.
The leadership in Dulles is horrendous. For the ensuing lay-offs Mr. Falco should consider canning entire layers of VPs and Directors. Give them an Internet-based GMAT/GRE and a 360-degree review. If they fail or don't have respect of their peers, show their ass the door.
Hire some folks that understand the Web, first all, and then make sure that there are some day-to-day types that actually care about their folks and the technology, not in securing power and position, and things may actually turn-around.
For me I appreciate the effort, but good riddance. Effort doesn't win shit: only winning counts. I hope more leave or get canned. Stop cutting from the bottom and take a look at the top.