AOL will lay off more than a quarter of its employees over the next six months as it embarks on an overhaul of the company and its business plans. The layoffs come on the heels of the dismissal of about 1,300 employees — most of whom were call center employees in Florida and Arizona — earlier this year. AOL CEO Jonathan Miller announced that 5,000 of the company’s 19,000 staffers will be let go between now and the first quarter of 2007. The majority of jobs expected to be eliminated in this round are in the marketing and other divisions related to recruiting new subscribers.
"At a company-wide Webcast … Miller told AOL's worldwide workforce of 19,000 people that about 5,000 employees would within six months likely no longer be with the company," AOL spokesman John Buckley told The Washington Post.
AOL will begin giving away much of its content including email addresses on its Web site to anyone with broadband access.
AOL will offer severance packages to employees and assist them with job placement services, Buckley said.
Since the beginning of the year, AOL has shed 1,300 positions, mostly in its call centers in Florida and Arizona. The majority of jobs expected to be eliminated in this round are in the marketing and other divisions related to recruiting new subscribers. AOL and Time Warner executives said they found those efforts were no longer profitable and said they plan to end them.