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AOL India Is Laying Off Staff: Reports

Following the $315 million Huffington post acquisition, AOL is reported to be in the process of laying off staff: AllThingsD reported layoffs will be announced following the closure of the HuffPo deal, which was substantiated by AOL CEO Tim Armstrong, as per a report in The Wall Street Journal. Yesterday, the The Times Of India reported (unconfirmed) that some managers have told their teams that their units would be shutting down, but not elaborated on which. Bangalore, India is the International Headquarters of AOL Inc, and hence is likely to be impacted by layoffs.

On being contacted by MediaNama, an AOL India spokesperson has declined to comment (for the time being) on whether their have been any lay-offs so far, saying only they’re expecting a team from the US in the next few days, in order to finalize some restructuring. AOL India employs around a thousand people (including contractors) across the portal business and R&D units, according to the AOL India spokesperson.

An unconfirmed email in Business Insider suggests that the executive team will arrive on March 14th, and there will be 500 layoffs in India. We’ve not been able to get any confirmation, but feel free to contact us with details: nikhil@medianama.com and +919810310053. Try our Anonymous Tip-Box as well.

AOL India: Senior Management Exodus

AOL India has been in quiet mode for well over a year now. Kumar Talluri is currently SVP (Technologies) at AOL, and Country Manager (India). Over the last couple of years, several senior executives have left AOL India, as the company reduced its India focus: Maneesh Dhir, EVP (International) for AOL and MD of AOL India left the company in Feb 2009 to join Apple India. There was a major exodus of senior management last year or so, with Philip Nelson, who had taken over from Dhir, left the company in May 2010 December 2009, PG Ponappa leaving soon after to eventually take over as CEO (India and Emerging Markets) at mPortal, and Tarun Sobhani, Head of Ad Sales for AOL India leaving to co-found Deals and You.

India Layoff Rumor Details from BusinessInsider

A report Business Insider, quoting an unconfirmed note that they published, has reported that AOL is set to fire 500 employees in Bangalore. That:

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– Executive team to arrive in India on Mar 14 for the layoffs
– AOL plans to layoff engineering, operations and editorial positions at Bangalore over the next 4 months.
– Business units that got affected are AOL Media (Technology, Editorial, Photography) , AOL Paid Services and Consumer Applications Group, AOL Advertising and Search (Technology and Operations) and AOL Tech Operations (Tech Ops, NOC).
– AOL Tech Operations teams will be merged/absorbed with a successful bidder and work with AOL on a contract-outsourced model, and Infosys, MindTree, TCS and ITC are bidding for the contract.
– severance packages currently being discussed, would be at around 2-3 months pay with some benefits.
– AOL India Mobile, which recently launched a mobile site Coolage is likely to remain.

Please note that all of this is unconfirmed. On being contacted, AOL India declined to comment on the veracity of these specific rumors.

(By Anupam Saxena and Nikhil Pahwa)

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