Posted March 11, 2011 10:40 am by with 5 comments

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While it’s bad enough that a lot of people lost their jobs yesterday in the latest round of Aol’s effort to become viable as a company again, apparently they went about it in a way that left many with a bitter taste.

BusinessInsider spoke to an insider and published this account of the firings.

Managers had no clue if anyone on their teams were getting laid off. They were called into a separate meeting as a diversion, and then those being laid off were called into another and axed in a big group setting.

They pulled 20-30 people into a conference room and told them they “Don’t have roles at aol anymore.” [Severance is] 1 week for every year worked.
It’s really quite appalling.

Managers came back after their meeting to find out people on their teams were gone.

Managers weren’t told beforehand or asked who on their team should go if necessary. And nobody knows how the hell they picked who got laid off, as some of them were absolute top performers in some cases 50-75% of some of the most successful teams/sites AOL has.

Honestly, it’s no fun to report on these layoffs. I think it is necessary though to let people know how an organization is run and if this account is accurate it appears that Aol is a bit of a train wreck.

Of course, that train has some happy new passengers who are resting their heads on pillows of cash like Arianna Huffington and Michael Arrington but they earned their keep.

What’s troubling is that they have tied their fate to an organization that seems to be in constant disarray. When it makes news it rarely has a positive spin to it and one has to think that morale is pretty low by this point.

It’s sad to hear about people losing their jobs but the way this company appears to be running they may find themselves looking back and thanking Aol in the future.

  • Josh

    AOL is a mess… just like their logo.

  • Wow. That’s…uh….awful. If that’s true I suppose they’ll join Yahoo! as two of the least desirable tech companies to work for right now.

    Management moves like this irritate me to no end. AOL needs to fix what isn’t working before it starts making acquisitions. The answer to solve problems isn’t always to throw money at it.

    I all but guarantee the issue wasn’t all the people that got fired. Most likely they weren’t utilized properly and were just churning the corporate butter. AOL would have done better to ASK QUESTIONS when they separated the managers from direct reports and figure out who needed to be where and doing what.

    A company’s greatest asset should NOT be content farms.

    On the bright side, Google is hiring………

  • Cool list.Thanx a lot.

  • Disgusting, Cowardly,

    You always wonder why some employees fly off the handle and return to the office in rage.
    When we read about it on the 6:00 news, (Treat people with a little dignity)

    The ones left behind are effectively demoralized.

    I only wish they could name the names of the CEO who authorized this, so they can be publicly shamed. There had to be a nicer way to do this.


  • Louis

    Your kidding right? How can you work a AOL or even Yahoo and expect NOT to loose your job. Dinosaurs both of them. Huffington Post? The biggest hype since you got mail! Yeah that’s going to help!