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AOL CEO Apologizes for Comments Specifying Women who Gave Birth to ‘Distressed Babies’
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After commenting at a Town Hall meeting on how Obama Care and Distressed babies were the reason for a controversial new 401(k) policy, the CEO of AOL, Tim Armstrong, announced on Saturday that it will turn that decision around. According to the Huffington Post, the decision to reverse course for the policy change came after the comments were said and retaliation from employees were heard.

The new 401(k) program change would no longer match contributions on a per-paycheck basis. At the end of the year, the company would hand out lump sum matching contributions. If any employee would leave the company, that year they would not receive matching contributions. He also said that ObamaCare and two women giving birth to “distressed babies” were reasons for the policy change.


Today, in an email to his staff Armstrong apologized for the comment he made about the “distressed babies” and pregnancies.

“On a personal note, I made a mistake and i apologize for my comments last week at the town hall when i mentioned specific healthcare examples in trying to explain our decision making process around our employee benefit program.”

Here is his full letter:

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We began our journey together in 2009, and for the last four years have had an employee-first time culture. As I have said before, the ability to change is a strategic advantage for us. With benefit costs increasing, we made a strategic, financial decision last year to revise our employee matching 401K program from a pay-period contribution to  yearly lump-sum contribution. We then communicated this decision in the fall through multiple channels to every AOL office in the U.S.

The leadership teams and I listened to your feedback over the last week, We heard you on this topic. And as we discussed the matter over several days, with management and employees, we have decided to change the policy back to a per pay-period matching contribution. The Human Resources team will be in contact with all employees over the next week to explain the change and to answer any other benefits related questions you might have. We are proud to provide AOLers with robust benefits offering that spans from exceptional healthcare coverage to 401K’s to AOL fitness programs and beyond. On a personal note, I made a mistake and i apologize for my comments last week at the town hall when i mentioned specific healthcare examples in trying to explain our decision making process around our employee benefit programs.

Thursday we announced an outstanding Q4 and end to our fiscal year. More importantly, it validated our strategy and the work we have done on it. AOL is positioned for future growth and our long-term strategy to be one of the world’s leading media technology companies.

Now, as we begin 2014, let’s keep up our momentum. Thank you for the great 2013 year and for your ongoing passion. And know that I am a passionate advocate for the AOL family- TA”

image credit: aol


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