AOL CEO reverses controversial changes to 401(k) policy

A company’s inner-office policies can be a sensitive topic, particularly when that office is AOL, one of the most high-profile media brands on the Internet, and especially when the topic is employee benefits. That’s why when AOL CEO Tim Armstrong was reportedly heard during a recent conference call linking a change to the company’s 401(k) benefits package to the birth of two “distressed babies,” which he claimed cost the company $1 million each, the public’s reaction was, shall we say, less than favorable.

AOL chief executive Tim Armstrong told employees in an e-mail Saturday evening that he was reversing the company’s 401(k) policy and apologized for his controversial comments last week. “The leadership team and I listened to your feedback over the last week,” Armstrong wrote in his e-mail to the company. “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 decision came after days of pressure on the company. Many employees were angered by a report by The Washington Postthat retirement benefits were being changed.

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