AOL will "significantly reduce" its UK staff as part of the firm's planned large-scale redundancies and office closures across Europe. The internet pioneer said today that it could cut as many as 1,400 staff to keep in line with plans it announced in November.
AOL said at the end of last year that it would cut around a third of its workforce after becoming independent from Time Warner, although it hoped that many of its staff would leave voluntarily under a "separation programme".
However, just 1,100 out of 6,900 employees have voluntarily resigned so far, and so a large number of staff will be asked to leave.
AOL has already begun meeting with European employees, and redundancies will be announced in the US tomorrow, according to statements made to the press.
"We evaluated our competitive position and product portfolio in every market, and we asked the hard questions about areas that were no longer core to the strategy and our profit profiles in the businesses and countries where we operate," said an AOL spokesman.
The spokesman could not confirm how many UK jobs it expects to go, but did give an idea of which departments will face the least impact.
"In the UK, we will be significantly reducing our staff, but will continue to have a robust advertising operation as well as a consumer offering. Ireland will remain a core technology development centre for the company," he said.
AOL was founded in the 1980s and was one of the first companies to offer a commercial internet service. The company was the leading internet service provider when the browser arrived and the World Wide Web took shape in the 1990s.
In 2000 AOL announced a merger with Time Warner. The deal was among the largest ever and is widely considered to mark the high point of the dotcom boom.
However, the deal turned out to be disastrous for AOL, and its market share rapidly declined along with its image. The company is now working on a major rebrand.
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