March 10, 2011

AOL Cutting 20 Percent Of Its Staff

AOL said on Thursday that it plans to cut 900 jobs around the globe to help eliminate overlap that stems from its recent purchase of The Huffington Post.

About 200 of the cuts are from AOL's content and technology departments in the U.S. 

The remaining 700 employees to be cut are at AOL's offices in India.  However, AOL spokesman Graham James said in a statement that 300 of those employees will move to other companies that are taking over support functions.

Thursday's 20 percent staff cut leaves AOL with 3,500 employees in the U.S. and about 500 overseas.  The total work force is about a fifth of what the company had at its peak in 2004, when its staff was over 20,000.

AOL paid $315 million for The Huffington Post as part of its efforts to become a go-to source for news and other content.

AOL CEO Tim Armstrong said at a conference in New York that the company has no immediate plants for further layoffs.  However, he did say that "in our situation we don't have the luxury of long-term planning."

Armstrong said AOL will hire this year and try to have more full-time journalists in its ranks to rely less on freelancers. 

He said at the conference that about half the staff now is in content-producing roles, and he wants to increase that to 70 percent.


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