Tim Armstrong Apologizes; Mother of ‘Distressed Baby’ Speaks Up

On Saturday, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong apologized for his comments about distressed babies being a part of the reason why 401(k) benefits were being cut for employees, and announced that the old retirement savings plan would be restored (somehow?).

Deanna Fei, the mother of one of the “distressed babies” Armstrong mentioned during the company-wide call, wrote a piece in Slate about her experience:

I take issue with how he reduced my daughter to a “distressed baby” who cost the company too much money. How he blamed the saving of her life for his decision to scale back employee benefits. How he exposed the most searing experience of our lives, one that my husband and I still struggle to discuss with anyone but each other, for no other purpose than an absurd justification for corporate cost-cutting.

On Thursday, within minutes of Armstrong’s utterance, my husband began fielding questions from colleagues: Wasn’t the CEO talking about his baby? Focused as he was on his job as an editor—who then had to assign neutral coverage of this brewing business story—he struggled to grasp that the baby behind the headlines was our daughter.

The rest of her piece can be read here.

Photo: Caleb Zahn

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3 Comments / Post A Comment

SterlingCooper05 (#2,529)

I’ve heard in several HR meetings of the cost of employee hospital visits reaching the $1 Million cap. This was a used as a reason to increase premiums, copays, etc. Specific names weren’t mentioned and I did not know them personally, but I’m sure someone in the meeting knew the person that reached the cap. No one really thought anything of it and both employees and the company accept this risk in a group insurance plan.

E$ (#1,636)

Bravo to Deanna Fai for speaking up.

Winter (#4,527)

This is the same guy who fired an employee on a shareholders’ conference call. I can’t believe the board puts up with him.

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