What you make of AOL's layoff plans depends on whether you usually see the glass as half full or 50 percent empty. Here's the deal -- we've known for some time that AOL was readying pink slips, but according to reports, the New York-based company is 'only' letting go of several hundred employees this time around, far less than what some might have been expecting.
AOL's $315 million acquisition of The Huffington Post is nearly complete, and as the finish line approaches, job cuts can be seen on the horizon. If there's a bright side to this, it's that the job cuts won't come until after the deal is complete. But they are around the corner, because as AOL CEO Tim Armstrong put it, there's just no way to avoid making cuts.
Disney, home of the self-described happiest place on Earth, has laid off close to 200 employees as it tries to revamp its interactive media division, The Wall Street Journalreports.
Most of those pink slips ended up in the hands of employees working for Disney's console game operations, which formerly consisted of a staff of 700. Going forward, more layoffs are expected.
"As part of setting a strategic for future success in the digital media space, the Disney Interactive Media Group yesterday began a restructuring process," a Disney spokeswoman said in a statement.
The biggest blow coming from Disney's restructuring efforts includes the shuttering of one of its game studios, Progaganda Games, which worked on the Tron game. Looking ahead, it appears Disney is more interested in pursuing mobile and social games as the company attempts to lift its interactive media group out of the red.
With more and more members flocking to Facebook, MySpace is taking drastic action to cut costs and possibly prepare itself for a sale. The struggling social network slashed its workforce nearly in half, handing out pink slips to 500 of its 1,100 employees, USA Today reports.
"Today's tough but necessary changes were taken in order to provide the company with a clear path for sustained growth and profitability," MySpace CEO Mike Jones said in a statement. "These changes were purely driven by issues related to our legacy business, and in no way reflect the performance of the new product."
MySpace has been trying desperately to reinvent itself and attract a younger audience. In October, MySpace launched an overhauled version of its site geared towards music, movies, and entertainment, and while the site still sees some 60 million visitors a month, it's still way behind Facebook, which sees 150 million visits on a monthly basis.
Credit MySpace for once dominating the social networking scene and, more recently, trying to reinvent itself as an all-around entertainment epicenter. But let's be real, MySpace blew its opportunity to become what Facebook already is, and there doesn't appear to be room for both to coexist.
According to AllThingsD.com, things are about to get worse. Layoffs loom for perhaps as much as 50 percent of MySpace's workforce, AllThingsD.com says, which works out to around 550 pink slips.
Citing "multiple sources familiar with the situation," AllThingsD.com says nothing is a done deal, but all employees have been put on notice to start saving their pennies. The suits in charge are also batting around the idea of selling MySpace, though there's no word of any potential buyers.
There have been rumors that Yahoo's latest round of layoffs nixed the entire Del.icio.us team, and now it appears the social bookmarking site is not long for this world, TechCrunch reports.
Former Yahoo employee Andy Baio posted an internal Yahoo team meeting slide showing various business ventures listed under three categories: Sunset, Merge, and Make Feature. Del.icio.us falls under the Sunset heading, as does Altavista, MyBlogLog, Yahoo Bookmarks, and a handful of others.
"Part of our organization streamlining involves cutting our investment in underperforming or off-strategy products to put better focus on our core strengths and fund new innovation in the next year and beyond," Yahoo said in a statement. "We continuously evaluate and prioritize our portfolio of products and services, and do plan to shut down some products in the coming months such as Yahoo Buzz, our Traffic APIs, and others. We will communicate specific plans when appropriate."
Yahoo recently handed out pink slips to 4 percent of its staff (around 600 employees) in what the company described as "a tough call, but a necessary one."
The long-time Finnish maker of mobile phones, Nokia, announced today that they are preparing to reduce their workforce, according to Reuters. The cuts will start with 800 in Nokia's home market of Finland. Overall, the company expects to eliminate 1800 jobs worldwide. This total number was announced back in October, but it was not clear at the time where the cuts would come from.
Observers suspect that many of the job losses are due to the de-emphasis of Symbian development. The layoffs are expected to go into effect in January. These employees aren't being completely cut loose, though. Nokia has agreed to provide severance packages equal to 5-15 months of salary. While some of Nokia's recent decisions leave us scratching our heads, it's never good news to hear about tech layoffs. Do you think this says anything about Nokia's future?
Clark Griswold went off the deep end when he received a "Jelly of the Month" membership in place of a holiday bonus check, but at least he wasn't laid off. The same can't be said for some 650 to 700 Yahoo employees expected to lose their jobs today, AllThingsD.com reports.
Yahoo's product division will bear the brunt of this round of layoffs, and mostly here in the U.S. If all this weren't crummy enough, those laid off will be asked to leave immediately.
If there's a bright side to all this, it's that the number of pink slips is about half of what was initially reported. Back in November, TechCrunch said Yahoo was planning on severing about 20 percent of its 6,500 workforce, which Yahoo said was "misleading and inaccurate."
It's no surprise that Limewire is expecting hard times after being forced to shut down their p2p client. What is a bit surprising is their determination to move the company forward and make a place in the already crowded legal music service space. According to All Things D, 30% of Limewire staff got the boot. " Following the court-ordered injunction, we reduced our work force to extend our runway for bringing our new music service to market," said Limewire CEO George Searle.
There is a project already underway at Limewire to distribute music legally. The "Grapevine" service is still an unknown quantity. We don't even know if it will use p2p technology in any way. Whichever way they go, the big labels will have to sign on for it to be a success. Do you think Limewire has a shot, or is it curtains for them?
Second Life developer Linden Lab today announced a strategic restructuring that will see it invest in new initiatives, including the development of a browser-based version and the use of social networks to extend the Second Life experience even further. At the same time, the company hopes to become more cost efficient, and to this end has chosen to prune its staff by 30%. Apparently, it has already shut down its UK and Singapore offices while reducing staff in San Francisco, Seattle and Mountain View. Linden also bid farewell to the entire enterprise division.