AOL is to begin its next round of job cuts and it is being reported that as many as 900 could be lost. The cuts come on the heels of AOL’s $315m deal to buy the Huffington Post and the reorganisation that has followed.
Last week AOL CEO Tim Armstrong, while speaking at a conference in the US, said that there would definitely be “job changes”. He said there was “no way around it, but we’ll do it thoughtfully”. Many of the job cuts will hit India, which supports AOL US content operations.
Kara Swisher reported earlier that the job cuts could affect between 400-500 AOL staff, but that figure has been quickly revised upwards by others. AOL has a large Indian operation and it looks like this business will take the biggest hit.
“But that may be little comfort for AOL India staffers. From all indications, the process has already begun, with some managers telling their teams that their units would be shutting down. Indications increasingly are that the scale of layoffs would be significant, may be even as much as 60-70% of AOL India’s strength of about 1,000 employees,” the Times of India reports.
India currently accounts for nearly one-fifth of AOL’s 5,000 staff and the cuts there will be joined by a smaller US wave of job losses of between 100 and 200:
“The cuts do not affect ad sales, which is absorbing the newly enlarged HuffPo sales team, or the new network group. On the editorial side, though, the acquisition means a considerable amount of duplication in numerous areas,” reports PaidContent.
What won’t be hit are sites like TechCrunch, Engadget and the Huffington Post and other higher quality AOL owned entities.
This latest round of job cuts at AOL adds to the thousands that have been cut over the last couple of years as Armstrong seeks to recast the firm as a content business focusing on a three pronged strategy: high quality content (such as the above sites), its Patch hyperlocal business; and its Seed content farm.