As you’ve probably heard by now, Heather Harde — my boss for the past three years or so — has quit AOL. There’s not much more to say beyond what Mike already has. This is just really sad — sad because it never should have gone down this way.
Heather was far and away the best boss I ever had. She’s also the hardest working person I’ve ever met. She could and probably should be the CEO of dozens of other companies in Silicon Valley. Hopefully she’ll do that now, if she wants.
Forget myself or Paul or Sarah leaving TechCrunch. Forget even Mike leaving TechCrunch. Heather’s departure is by far the biggest blow to the company — and Mike would be the first to say that.
Given its scale (which we all built over the years) TechCrunch will survive without Heather, but it will never be the same. I honestly can’t think of a single person they could put in place that would be able to do a fraction of what Heather was able to do on the business side of things. It will be totally different now. Maybe that’s fine, but it will never be better.
Again, this is all just incredibly frustrating because it really didn’t have to happen this way. And yet, it did.
Thanks for everything Heather.
All day, I kept telling myself I shouldn’t say anything. Then I realized: what the fuck? Be honest.
Many of you are watching TechCrunch unravel before your very eyes. That sucks. It sucks for me too. But TechCrunch is also too big to fail. One way or another, it will live on. Try as hard as AOL might, they can’t totally fuck it up. That’s just the truth.
Also the truth: AOL has not reached out to me once in this entire situation. You’d think they might care about something like that. Evidently, they don’t. I’m not losing any sleep over it, but it’s curious.
I appreciate the outpouring of support from everyone. No matter what happens, don’t worry, I’ll be fine. I’m just sincerely worried about the state of AOL that they seem to have a total disregard for the actual situation. TechCrunch is a key property and one of the few bright spots in their portfolio. But to them, it’s apparently just numbers.
That’s a losing stance. TechCrunch may survive with that stance, but it will not thrive as it has. That’s the CNET stance. Complacency is poison.
Everyone still at TechCrunch knows this. That’s why Paul’s post is dangerous. He’s shining the spotlight on something, but he’s missing the mark. There is exactly one person to blame for all of this — and her name is not Erick.