AOL Begins Layoffs; 100 To Be Let Go Today

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AOL (NYSE: TWX) is laying off 100 staffers today, sources tell paidContent, confirming earlier reports by AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher and Valleywag.

The moves are not exactly part of CEO Tim Armstrong’s “Project Everest,” which he has said is designed to look at streamlining roughly 10 individual teams at the company, one source told paidContent. While today’s cuts are spread across AOL’s various departments, it might best best to think of them as “pre-Everest,” the source said, as that project is much broader. In speaking with AOL staffers, Armstrong basically laid out the reason for the layoffs as reflecting the company’s cost problems, along with its revenue challenges. So in that sense, the layoffs’ timing had a bit more to do with the 23 percent revenue decline AOL posted last week as part of Time Warner’s Q3 earnings report.

Armstrong has indicated that the cuts would probably take until early next year to complete, so consider this the next step, but not the final one, as AOL gets closer to spinning off from parent Time Warner. Overall, 1,000 of AOL’s roughly 6,000-member workforce could lose their jobs by the time the staff reductions are done. In addition to layoffs, Kara reports that Armstrong will also consider offering buyouts, as a way to cushion the blow from the cuts. However, sources cautioned that AOL has not made any decisions on whether to offer voluntary buyouts.

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