AOL Inc. CEO Tim Armstrong apologized to employees Tuesday for publicly firing an employee during a conference call last week. He didn't, however, give the employee his job back, CNNMoney reported.


Abel Lenz, creative director of Patch, AOL's network of local news sites, reportedly tried to take a photo of Armstrong during a conference call with Patch's nationwide  staff to discuss the future of the hyperlocal news network. Armstrong, who said he had previously warned Lenz not to record confidential meetings, fired him on the spot, and everyone on the call overheard.


Armstrong sent a memo to employees on Tuesday apologizing for the manner in which he fired Lenz, and said he apologized to Lenz personally.


AOL said last week that it is closing or finding partnerships for 400 of its 900 sites and laying off hundreds of employees.


Locally, Patch has news sites in Urbandale, Ankeny, Johnston, Waukee and West Des Moines. Elsewhere in Iowa it has sites in Ames, Iowa City, Cedar Falls and Marion. The company employs eight people full-time in Iowa.