AOL’s board officially approved layoffs of approximately 7,000 workers (about 1/3 the company’s total workforce) yesterday. The company had announced the layoffs previously, but this was the first official act by the board since AOL became a separate company from Time Warner a few weeks ago.
The news pushed AOL’s stock higher in the NYSE this past week, however, AOL faces a number of challenges as seeks to stand on its own two-feet.
Namely, AOL was the only top 5 web property in the US to have year over year declines in visitors to its web sites. In fact, AOL has suffered a 28% year over year decline in its subscriber base.
Despite the layoffs and some declines in subscribers, AOL continues to adapt and reshape itself. A recent Wall Street Journal report noted that the company was in talks to sell its ICQ instant-messaging service in a deal that could inject some fresh capital into the company – ranging from $175 million to $300 million.