AOL Layoff Package: You Stay, You Pay

Published on November 19, 2009
by Kara Swisher


BoomTown has learned that 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.

It’s a depressing rock-and-a-hard-place choice.

An AOL spokesperson confirmed the offer, which is part of a massive layoff of 2,500 of its 6,000-person workforce.

Earlier today, AOL said it would be letting go a big chunk of its staff, a third of its payroll, in a regulatory filing.

As reported by MediaMemo’s Peter Kafka:

The voluntary layoff program begins Dec. 4, a few days before the company spins off from Time Warner (TWX). If AOL doesn’t get enough volunteers, it will ax people on its own.

This is lousy news for employees, who are faced with a “jump now or wait to be pushed” decision, but it is designed to cheer investors: AOL says the cuts will drop its annual operating expenses by $300 million. Through the first nine months of this year, AOL’s operating expenses ran around $1.8 billion.

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