Only time will tell if it's getting in shape to pickup up Yahoo, but AOL is getting leaner through layoffs and consolidations.
The majority of AOL's layoffs announced Friday are hitting the company's sales department, though some layoffs may be tied to redundancies in its consolidation efforts since it bought up TUAW and Joystiq. AOL is said to be folding gaming site Joystiq and Apple news site TUAW into Endgadet. AOL's Autoblog has already consumed AOL Autos.
AOL's cuts will see the company replace people with software, as AOL expects its automated programs to sell and place ads
"Official: @Joystiq is no more. Got some talented people looking for work. Plz RT, pass to HR," says Joystiq Editor Alexander Sliwinski in a post on Twitter, pointing interested parties to a Dropbox link that contains a roster of co-workers that received the ax.
While the numbers aren't official, AOL is believed to have laid off about three percent of its workforce - that's 150 from a staff of about 5,000 people. The layoffs come after AOL CEO and Chairman Tim Armstrong declared last quarter that his company is "leaner, stronger and more focused," which enables the company to better forge more meaningful partnerships.
"We see a clear opportunity gap in the market, a market that will be transformed in the next two to three years, and we are building AOL to go directly after the billions of connected consumers and the 500-billion-plus spent annually on media," Armstrong told investors back in November (PDF).
Back around AOL's last earnings call, Yahoo investors began suggesting the two companies should merge and touted the synergies the pair could enjoy. Armstrong was said to have been receptive of the idea about merging with Yahoo, but Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer dismissed the idea then and she again brushed off the talk on Jan. 27.
Mayer had been discussing plans to spinoff its stake in Alibaba, which was one of the moves called for by activist investors. But while a major spinoff tied to Alibaba happened this week, calls for a merger with AOL are shot down.
"We don't see a particularly accretive contribution," said Mayer. "I do think that we have some skepticism around the synergies that are being posited."