AOL is looking to cut approximately one-third of its overall workforce, and chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong is foregoing his 2009 bonus, the online company told employees Thursday.
It will look for up to 2,500 employees to voluntarily leave and accept severance packages early next month, the company said.
The staff reductions would come around the time of AOL's planned spinoff from Time Warner in December. It would need to make involuntary layoffs if it does not reach the target numbers through the voluntary option.
AOL is looking to cut its annual operating costs by $300 million.
Armstrong explained the moves in an e-mail to AOL staff on Thursday. Explaining the decision to surrender his bonus, he said: "As a member of our team and the person who takes accountability for the results of the company, I am making the decision to forego my 2009 bonus. That decision is a personal one and is not a sign for the future payout of the overall bonus plan for employees."
See also: "AOL's Armstrong: Content Must Improve"
Nielsen Business Media