AOL shows growth - cuts 700 jobs

January 30, 2009 // 9:07 a.m.

Tags: #aol #credit-crunch #growth #job-cuts #layoff #layoffs #randy-falco #walletpop

The credit crunch is still forcing companies to trim staffing – even when the company involved is enjoying a growth period, such as AOL.

According to an article over on BetaNews, the iconic company is looking to release 700 staff from various divisions despite posting growth across many of its projects – with some reporting traffic increases of up to 27 percent compared to the same time last year.

A memo sent to employees by chief executive officer Randy Falco describes the cutbacks as being a necessity to “provide our core businesses the resources they need to thrive.” Falco also assures those due for the chopping block that the company will be “doing everything we can to help and support those affected, including offering severance packages and other services.

With the cutbacks representing a not-inconsiderable ten percent of current staff levels, it's a slimmer AOL that will be heading into the remainder of 2009. The good news for the company is that many of its projects are going great guns, despite the slowing global markets: recently launched personal finance site WalletPop overcame a poor launch to capture five times as much traffic as that of its nearest competitors, and the company's Platform-A advertising network is reputed to reach over 90 percent of the Internet – and growing.

There are rumours of discontent at the company, however: PaidContent.org – via the Washington Post – is claiming that AOL is looking to offload Bebo, the social networking site it acquired last year for a whopping $850 million after getting soundly thrashed by competitor Facebook. AOL, for its part, has denied the claims via a spokesman who issued a statement claiming the story had “absolutely no truth in it” and was a “ridiculous” rumour.

Anyone have a good word to say for AOL or its services, or are you of the opinion that the employees have been freed rather than fired? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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