Aol.com has sent out a company-wide e-mail to its employees that it will start laying off 2,000 more employees out of its current worldwide workforce of 10,000. The layoffs are to begin today, October 16th. The e-mail information has been confirmed by an AOL representative. According to the e-mail, the CEO, Randy Falco, indicated that the layoffs are necessary to keep operations efficient as the company continues its realignment from a subscription-based ISP to an ad-supported Web company.
Falco went on to say, “Put simply, my vision for AOL is to build the largest and most sophisticated global advertising network while we grow the size and engagement of our worldwide audience. We're only a year and a month into our transformation, and the turnaround has been dramatic. We're now in a position to win as an advertising-supported business. We have a bright future as a company if we can execute on this vision." Falco also promised "generous severance packages."
According to various blogs under this discussion, the former and current AOL employees do not agree that the severance packages will be “generous,” but instead will be a pittance compared to the corporate greed that current management has been and is practicing. The “bright future” promised by Mr. Falco for AOL is little consolation to the employees who are being laid off, since they won’t share in that future revenue growth.
There are gripes about the exclusive private executive dining room, huge expense accounts for executives and continued diversions for personal use of the company private jet and corporate moves of executives to New York City, all at a time when AOL claims that it has been tightening its belt to control costs. One blog even mentioned that their supervisor told them they had to do three times as much work on Monday, as they were all going to be let go on Tuesday/the next day.
This seems to be another example of a U.S. company expecting its workers to be thankful for losing their jobs, while its executives drive their Ferraris off into the sunset.