Engadget top editors Topolsky and Patel resign from AOL


Mere days after AOL laid off 900 workers in a restructuring of the company’s staff, two top editors of highly popular AOL-owned technology website Engadget have resigned from the publication.

The editors include managing editor Nilay Patel and editor-in-chief Josh Topolsky (pictured above). News of their departures was first revealed in a report by All Things Digital. Both Patel and Topolsky have now confirmed their resignations in blog posts.

It remains unclear whether changes made, or planned, by AOL and its new editorial director, Arianna Huffington, contributed to either Patel’s or Topolsky’s departure from the site, which currently receives around 14 million unique visitors per month. Sources tell AllThingsDigital, however, that the corporate culture, rather than editorial vision, were the primary factors in both editors’ decisions to leave.

In the past few months, two other Engadget top editors, Paul Miller and Ross Miller (no relation), both resigned from AOL. Each indicated that AOL’s new cash-driven stance on editorial content played a role in their departure decisions.

According to a post on his personal blog, Patel says that he actually left Engadget more than a week ago, on March 4, but stayed mum “in order to afford our team the chance to transition in relative peace and quiet.”

“Leaving Engadget is one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made,” writes Patel on his blog. “Not only am I leaving my current position as managing editor, but I’m also walking away from the opportunity to be editor-in-chief…[which] has long been the goal at the end of my five-year plan.”

Patel goes on to say that “it’s not this five-year plan” that matters to him, “but rather the next five years that are critically important” — and they don’t include working for Engadget.

While Topolsky has stepped down from his role as Engadget‘s top editor, he says his time with the publication is not entirely over, as he’ll be filling in as the site’s editor-at-large, and will continue to host episodes of the “Engadget Show.”

“I didn’t make this decision lightly,” writes Topolsky in a farewell letter published on Engadget. “The time I’ve spent here has been — without question — the most amazing, rewarding, and just insanely fun period of my life.” But Topolsky’s departure from Engadget doesn’t mean he’s leaving technology reporting behind.

“I’m not leaving the industry or the news game — in fact, I’ve got a few fantasy projects in mind that hopefully you’ll be hearing about soon.”

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