Info-tech

AOL lays off around 400 in Bangalore

Our Bureau Bangalore | Updated on March 10, 2011 Published on March 10, 2011

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Following its acquisition of news and opinion site Huffington Post, AOL has started laying off people at its India office, across engineering and editorial functions.

Around 400 people are said to have been sacked in the first phase and they will be given four months salary as severance package, according to sources in AOL, which employs around 1,000 people in India.

Globally, AOL is learnt to be cutting hundred of jobs. The move follows the $315-million acquisition of online newspaper Huffington Post.

An official statement said: “Moving forward, our focus in India will be on our core capabilities around building the most compelling consumer facing products primarily for the Indian and other Asian markets. We'll be partnering with Mindtree and HP to round out our business operations.”

According to the source, people will start exiting from March-end and most operations are said to be closed down by June. A 100-odd people are said to be retained and the company will shift to a smaller place.

Only minor operations such as paid services will remain, the source said. Team managers have already informed staffers that units would be shutting down, he added.

‘Not surprising'

Mr Chaitanya Ramalingegowda, Director, Global Advisory Services, Zinnov Management Consulting, said the loss of jobs at AOL globally and in India is not a surprise act at all, given that in 2009, when the company spun off from Time Warner, it sacked around 2,500 people.

“The job loss now is a natural fallout of an M&A with AOL trying to restructure itself to fit in with the Huffington Post way of working. Huffington Post, with user generated content and users themselves acting as editors, will not fit in with AOL's style of hosting news from various sources. It is estimated the restructuring would cost AOL around $20 million.”

Published on March 10, 2011

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