It looks like last week’s layoffs were only the tip of ice berg for AOL. As predicted, the company said today that it was looking to trim its workforce by one-third as it prepares to spin off from its parent company, Time Warner, next month.
Reports say AOL is looking for up to 2,500 volunteers through a voluntary buyout program that will run from December 4 until December 11. If more cuts are needed after the buyout offer period ends, then there will be layoffs as AOL seeks to trim $300 million from its annual operating expenses.
As a consolation, CEO Tim Armstrong is giving up his 2009 bonus. It’s an expensive promise, since his bonus is expected to be within the $1.5 million to $4 million range. A nice gesture, but still of little comfort to thousands of employees whose jobs are on the line.
Update: Kara Swisher of All Things Digital reports that those AOL employees offered a voluntary buyout package are facing a difficult decision: AOL is offering “those who ‘volunteer’ to leave the company now a departure package that ranges from three to nine months of pay, compared to one to four months for employees laid off in the first quarter of next year.”
AOL To Reduce Work Force By One-Third —Wall Street Journal