There is a post on the web2ireland blog claiming that Techcrunch UK’s Sam Sethi has been fired by Mike Arrington!
The post author, Paul Walsh is very close to Sam so I would put a lot of faith in this post.
My sources are telling me that Sam was fired for refusing to remove a comment from the TechCrunch UK site. The comment in question was one where Loic Le Meur called Sam an asshole for putting up a negative review of Le Web 3. The comment has since been deleted.
Sam put up a post on TechCrunch UK saying he and Mike had parted ways but that post has been deleted also. I found it in my RSS reader and it said:
Following yesterdayâ€™s post about Le Web and Loicâ€™s retort. It seems Mike Arrington has disagreed with my post and opinion believing my actions to be vindictive towards Loic. What was said between Mike and I will remain confidential but suffice to say I can no longer remain with TechCrunch UK & Ireland. It is a very sad after all the work that has gone into TechCrunch UK and Ireland. I wish all of the UK and Irish entrepreneurs well. I will be personally blogging back at http://www.vecosys.com and looking for something new to keep me busy. Bye â€?
I was just starting to enjoy Techcrunchuk after a slow start and cant believe that Michael would come down on Loicâ€™s side on what I thought was a very fair and balanced post regarding Leweb3
Sam seems to confirm this version of events on Twitter.
Sam doesn’t seem to be answering his mobile and I have emailed Mike to try to get his side of the story – if I hear back from either of them I will update this post.
I know both Mike and Sam and have a lot of respect for both of them so I find this particularly hard to believe.
[Update] – Mike has clarified his reasons for firing Sam on his Crunchnotes site:
The actions that resulted in his dismissal were additional comments he wrote on that second post, announcing â€œthat TechCrunch UK will be doing a series of seminars and a conference next year as well as a series of smaller meetings in conjunction with friends & partners which have been in the planning for sometime now.â€?
These events were not discussed with me, and certainly were not approved. The fact that he announced and promoted them while trashing a competing event was a clear conflict of interest and was not appropriate. I do not consider this to be ethical behavior.
None of this had to be aired publicly, but Sam chose to write a final post on the blog after he was terminated stating incorrectly that he was being terminated because of the original post. He has also written publicly that he was terminated because he would not comply with my demand to delete a post. That is not accurate. This is driven entirely from Samâ€™s ethical lapse in trashing a competitor while simultaneously promoting his own events. Thatâ€™s not acceptable – readers will not be able to determine if he actually believed what he wrote about the conference, or rather exaggerated his opinions to futher his own business interests.