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Verizon to cut 7% of staff in the unit that includes AOL, Yahoo and HuffPost

Verizon
Verizon has been scaling back its ambitions to turn a patchwork of dot-com brands into a thriving online-ad business.
(Bebeto Matthews / Associated Press)

Verizon Communications Inc. is cutting 7% of its media staff, part of a bid to overhaul a struggling operation that includes the former online icons AOL and Yahoo.

The cuts would represent about 800 jobs at the division, which previously went by Oath. Verizon dropped that short-lived name, which was ridiculed on social media, this month. Some of the staff cuts will come from consolidating various business units, including Yahoo Mail, which will be folded into Yahoo Home.

“Our goal is to create the best experiences for our consumers and the best platforms for our customers,” Bob Varettoni, a Verizon spokesman, said in a statement Wednesday. “Today marks a strategic step toward better execution of our plans for growth and innovation into the future.”

Verizon had set out to turn a patchwork of dot-com brands into a thriving online-advertising business, but it has been scaling back its ambitions. Last month it wrote down the business by $4.6 billion. That erased almost half the value of the entity, which also houses the Huffington Post and other websites.

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The carrier also extended buyouts last year to 10,400 employees as part of a $10-billion cost-cutting program.

The task of reinvigorating Verizon Media Group falls to Guru Gowrappan, who inherited the role from AOL veteran Tim Armstrong. The business has been working on making its ads business engaging and pursuing other concepts such as more personalized publishing.

The Wall Street Journal previously reported on the job cuts, saying the business would focus more on mobile and video-focused products.


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