AOL axes 2,000 as focus shifts to online ads

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NEW YORK -- Time Warner Inc.’s AOL unit announced about 2,000 layoffs Monday, about 20% of its worldwide workforce of 10,000.

In an email memo obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, AOL CEO Randy Falco said the changes are a result of the online giant’s successful move from a subscription-based Internet service provider business model to an advertising-supported focus.

“The last important piece in this transition is the realignment of our costs...so we can operate as efficiently and effectively as possible,” he said in his memo, also signaling that the cost savings will be reinvested in growth areas.

The job reductions will start Tuesday and be rolled out over the next couple of months.

Falco also lauded AOL’s transformation and turnaround over the past year as “dramatic.” Added the CEO: “My vision for AOL is to build the largest and most sophisticated global advertising network while we grow the size and engagement of our worldwide audience.”

Falco mentioned recent acquisitions of online ad firms and rebuilt content offerings, including TMZ, Moviefone, and many other sites, as key. “Our products are once again creating buzz in the market,” the CEO said.

He also said that global expansion is another key focus, with AOL going into seven new countries this year to boost its presence to a total of 30 countries.


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