December 13, 2006

Epilogue: AOL Layoffs, 2006 Edition

So... I didn't think I'd be posting about AOL anymore (buh-bye). But today was my last official act (I think): laying off more than a few people as the Company restructures around the Web (and advertising). It was a fairly crappy way to spend a day, but I was asked to help; and I guess I'd rather folks that work(ed) for me hear it from me as opposed to some person they don't know - even if I am done there.

Its a tough thing, but it is a [media] business... and costs have to trail revenues :/ - though knowing that doesn't make the human component any more palatable, and I do feel AOL tried to make it as right as possible, all things considered.

I was also sent this today (I don't know who the original source was - I got it from someone no longer at AOL) ... It's in clearly poor taste (but still funny) - some employee's reaction (that last one had me in stitches) - in the category of gallows humour, I suppose.

105 comments:

Anonymous said...

Don't really mind the layoff, the package is fine and job market good. but having a guy who just a couple days ago bloged about something to the effect of intellectual capital being in the people delivering the good news, that's just priceless.

Sree Kotay said...

lol - well, nobody said it was GOOD news (last I checked)... and I *did* qualify my "intellectual capital" comment rather specifically - perhaps you missed that part? :P

Hari said...

http://www.ihari.com/node/118

Hari.

eolaughlen said...

Sree, so you too were the Ghost of Christmas Future :)?

I sum 10 years of AOL into 5 bullet points (2 per year) for anyone interested.

Regardless, the post seemed to bring some closure....:)

eolaughlen said...

doh...1 per 2 years :).

Sree Kotay said...

lol - thanks for sharing Eric. Good luck, stay in touch, and hopefully your new endeavor doesn't require any arithmetic :)

eolaughlen said...

Sree, thanks...you too. LOL...ain't that the reason for computers and programs? I'm all good then....

Anonymous said...

Silly me, the company that just kicked me out the door builds neither software nor product, but this cool widget called ebitda, which I am sure somebody feels pretty passionate about. now that all makes sense.

It was totally good news, you don't know how liberated and empowered I felt when I last drove out of there.

Anonymous said...

Way way too many layoffs and they always suck. Us folks who "survived" are left wondering what we are doing here and whether a paycheck is worth the nasty taste in the mouth left behind every time. Do we believe in what we are doing here? Yea for the most part, but its always balancing belief with this :(

I just hope this is the last one.

Sree Kotay said...

I say this with no actual knowledge of what's coming: its NOT the last one.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for pissing on the grave.

Sree Kotay said...

No problem, anonymous, anything I can do to brighten your day :)

That is, after all, why I was put on this good earth... :P

In any case, as long as gross revenues are coming down, it should not surprise anyone - and though I think the transformation from sub to ad revenue is right, necessary, and even overdue, it does NOT send revenue the right way initially (if ever - its a gamble).

I'll submit that's why it was such a hard decision to make (e.g. why it took so long to happen) - but the other question is/was: what's the alternative? After all, the future of dial-up access, though profitable, doesn't require much in the way prognostication ability...

Anonymous said...

Thank God I'm free: More Changes Coming For Those That Remain.

Sorry folks...when sights are set on each other rather than competition, you have this.

Best thing TWX could do is split up the company and merge it into the other media units. Sorry. What could have been.

Anonymous said...

Looksalike AOL will be run differently and from New York, now on. More partnerships with other divisions, more corporate, and just maybe...more focused.

Losing your entire executive team is bad enough. Losing them and keeping Conroy, makes it even worse.

Falco better find himself a great CMO, CTO and Chief Designer. Or this media management team is gonna make things get really ugly, as they focus too much on pleasing advertisers, at expense of consumers.

These layoffs just create more fear and fiefdoms for those still on the ship...and add on the swirl that will follow Falco all the time...the caretaker packaging the company up for sale.

Hari said...

I am still holding on writing/publishing my views about AOL in the last 3 years I was there because am still bound to the non-disclosure and SBC (until Feb 15 '07).

I still think AOL has lot of potential, but for the management's missteps or bad decisions, except for the Web 2.0 initiative which is two years too late. There still is a possibility for the turnaround only if.. I'll hold the rest until Feb 15. Keep an eye on iHari.com

Brain said...

Sree,

Please contact ASAP...

Carl Gilchrist [recruiter]
Spencer Stuart Associates / Atlanta office
CIO functional practice area
800-845-0186
cgilchrist@spencerstuart.com

Sree Kotay said...

Hari's post on this topic (as well as his precursor post. (I accidentally deleted his comment linking to it - sorry!)

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