AOL has sent pink slips to 40 employees in its Instant Messenger unit at the company’s Silicon Valley office, which has been “eviscerated and now only consists of support staff,” according to the New York Times. More than 100 additional cuts are upcoming at AOL, including cuts to Patch.com, the company’s attempt to transform local media, according to anonymous AOL executives cited in the Times.
“We are making some strategic but very difficult changes to better align our resources with key areas of growth for us as a company,” AOL said in a statement. “We remain committed to our presence in Silicon Valley and driving innovation in consumer products and mobile.”
Another anonymous AOL source said the purpose of these firings is not cost-cutting. People are being let go because consumers aren’t using the products produced by AOL’s West Coast team – About.me, Editions, etc – and “the accountability train has arrived.”