Arianna Huffington pushed out TechCrunch founder Mike Arrington in September, cementing her role as AOL's one true blog master. Now the slow gutting of TechCrunch continues.
TechCrunch CEO Heather Harde resigned today. Harde was hired by Arrington in 2007, and it's clear she was as unhappy as the rest of the TechCrunchers when Arrington was pushed out in a classic powerplay by Huffington. (There was a bit of the Stockholm Syndrome about the TechCrunch staff's overblown rending of garments when their notorious tech tyrant boss was shown the door.)
At the beginning of October, Harde made her displeasure public in an all-company email, after a Huffpo publicist sent out a press release that bragged of Arianna Huffington's first place finish in a Silicon Alley Insider list of New York tech power players. The press release included a quote from the SAI article declaring, "Huffington is more powerful than ever at AOL after she had Michael Arrington of TechCrunch booted for conflicts of interest when he decided to become a VC."
"Classy inclusion of the full SAI description, thx." Harde wrote in an email to the entire HuffPo media group, according to Forbes' Jeff Bercovici. This is what happens when you take one of those stupid lists seriously!
So, now, Arrington and Harde are out. TechCrunch writer Sarah Lacy just quit, joining colleagues Paul Carr and M.G. Siegler. Seems one of the few things left about the pre-AOL TechCrunch is the name. Though, judging by what Huffington recently did to the AOL entertainment site PopEater, we wouldn't count on that sticking around much longer.
[Image via TechCrunch]