Verizon plans to lay off about 15% of the combined global workforce of its AOL and Yahoo units, a total of more than 2,000 employees, once the company completes its acquisition of the search engine pioneer.
News of the layoffs were first reported by technology website TechCrunch. Sources familiar with the companies confirmed the 15% figure, adding that it has been expected for more than a year and that such staff restructurings are common in deals of this size.
AOL agreed to purchase Yahoo in July for $4.83 billion but later reduced that price to $4.5 billion after a series of data breaches at the search pioneer. The company had said it hoped to close the deal by mid-June, and Tech Crunch reported that a proxy vote is taking place today, meaning the deal could be finalized within a week. AOL and Yahoo have a combined workforce of about 14,000 people.
In April Verizon said AOL and Yahoo would be combined in a new unit called Oath.
According to Tech Crunch, the layoffs would include workers in finance, marketing, administration and human resources departments. Some departments would feel the pain more – Tech Crunch said some could see reductions as high as 30%, while others would see layoffs of around 5%.
In a statement, an AOL spokesperson said “Oath’s strategy is to lead the global brand space. With access to over 1B consumers upon close, we will be positioned to drive one of the most important platforms in the consumer brand space. Consistent with what we have said since the deal was announced, we will be aligning our global organization to the strategy.”