According to the Wall Street Journal, AOL plans to cut up to 50 jobs from it’s AIM unit. AIM is best known for its Instant Messanger service. Among those being cut is vice president of AIM products, Jason Shellen. The layoffs are expected to occur within the next few weeks.
AOL’s revenue has fallen over the years as its internet access customers unsubscribed, and was down 18% in 2011.
Mention of the layoffs at AOL comes just days after AOL investor Starboard Value LP, owner of 5.2% of the company, began suggesting a push to replace up to half of AOL’s board. Starboard has criticized AOL Chief Executive Tim Armstrong’s big investment in content companies. Armstrong has been attempting to fashion AOL into an ad-supported digital content company, primarily through acquisitions of sites such as Huffington Post and TechCrunch, to generally ill avail. AOL has also been investing heavily in the Patch.com network, which reportedly lost roughly $100 million in 2011. As of late, AOL has lost executives Heather Harde, Tim Dierks, Alex Gounares, Tim Castelli, Brad Garlinghouse and Kiersten Hollars, which seemingly made it fashionable to quit the company.
AOL has undergone a series of layoffs over the past few years. Last March, roughly 20% of its work force was cut. As of Dec. 31, AOL claims it employed about 5,660 people, in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.