AOL's chief executive officer had to backtrack on a 401(k) policy change after an employee outcry that was fueled in part by Armstrong's own comments defending the idea. After saying last week that AOL would stop matching retirement contributions each pay period — opting instead to pay a lump sum once a year — the CEO blamed Obamacare and the medical expenses of two employees' pregnancies for forcing the change. He then reversed the 401(k) decision over the weekend in a memo to employees.

"We heard you on this topic," Armstrong, 43, said in the memo. "I made a mistake and I apologize for my comments."

Armstrong's mea culpa was his second in five months for a public controversy. In August, he sent a memo to workers saying he was wrong for firing a creative director in front of a room full of employees, as well as a thousand others who were listening on a conference call.

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