Wow… all change at AOL, where CEO Jonathan Miller was this week fired, as the news comes in that Weblogs Inc founder Jason Calacanis is also stepping down, seemingly in protest of Miller’s firing.
Calacanis, who sold Weblogs Inc to AOL last year for a rumoured $20m, was heading up the Netscape division, which recently re-launched in the guise of an, erm, capitalist version of Digg.
Yesterday we reported that Calacanis was prepared to ramp up payments for user-generated content on Netscape to a level of $2.4m per year, despite the fact that pretty much everybody else in the industry files UGC under ‘free’.
He confirmed his resignation to the New York Times, saying that he was “not inclined to start over with a new guy”, adding that he was “perplexed” as to why AOL’s board had fired Miller. “Why now?” he asked.
On his blog, Calacanis said: “I wanted to put a year into AOL and see how far I could take it. It’s now exactly a year and I’m excited about how far we took everything. Netscape is growing again, WIN is now an eight figure a year business, and Blogsmith is the best piece of technology inside TW/AOL.”
One wag on TechCrunch, which again was first to the story, asked “Did Calacanis pull a Vincent Ferrari and say ‘Cancel. The. Account.’?”, a reference to the infamous call to AOL customer services earlier this year by a disgruntled customer.
Calacanis is a feisty entrepreneur who won’t stay in the shadows for too long. He’ll be talking about this in more detail on today’s final episode of the Gilmour Gang. Watch this space.
Jonathan Miller has been replaced as AOL CEO by Randy Falco, president of the NBC / Universal group.
And in separate news, Fox Interactive has lost Ross ‘MySpace’ Levinsohn.