AOL Still Exists, Laying Off 500 People

Image courtesy of Maulleigh

Six months after Verizon Communications paid $4.4 billion to buy AOL and its collection of media and technology companies, the top honcho at the ‘90s Internet brand says they’ll be laying off about 5% of the staff today, with around 500 employees expected to get their walking papers.

AOL CEO Tim Armstrong told Re/code that the bulk of cuts will be in its corporate units in an effort to redirect resources toward mobile, video, and data offerings.

“The layoffs are related to a 2017 strategy where we will add to our business,” he said. “These are super-targeted by area, and we will be re-growing, especially in video and mobile.”

He said as much in an emailed memo to employees, explaining that based on the company’s strategy and the changes it sees in the industry, “we are reshaping parts of the company today. The company… will be aligned to drive a talent and operations plan in line with profitability.”

Armstrong says the layoffs aren’t connected to any talks AOL executives are having with their counterparts at Yahoo — which is still in the process of becoming a Verizon property, thanks to that massive data breach it suffered that affected 500 million users — about integrating the two companies. There will be plans for Yahoo later, too.

“The best way for us to grow is to move in front of change rather than be moved by change,” he wrote in the staff memo.

AOL is laying off 500 employees in a restructuring with focus on mobile, data and video [Re/code]