October 18, 2006 2:54 PM PDT

AOL to lay off 1,400 call center workers

AOL will close call centers in New Mexico and Arizona and lay off 1,400 workers as part of a restructuring announced in August, the company said on Wednesday.

AOL, a subsidiary of Time Warner, notified workers in Albuquerque, N.M., and Tucson, Ariz., that the facilities will close in mid-December, said AOL spokesman Nicholas Graham.

AOL is also selling its call center in Ogden, Utah, where 400 people work, he said. The company plans to "transition their positions and the facility to a new company in the coming months," according to an AOL statement.

In August, the company said it would offer services it previously charged for--like member e-mail--for free, in a move to stem a tide of member cancellations lured by free Web services elsewhere.

At the same time, AOL said that it was in talks to sell off its Internet access units in several European countries as part of its move to get out of the access market.

"Recently, AOL announced the sales of the access businesses in the UK, France and Germany. As a part of that process, the acquiring companies will be providing continued employment for nearly all of the affected AOL Europe access employees, so these are not layoffs," Graham said in a statement.

In the company's latest transformation, AOL is moving to the free model for services that Yahoo and Google have popularized, and is broadening its digital entertainment offerings to capitalize on the proliferation of broadband connections across the Web.

In August the company said it would likely reduce its workforce by about 5,000. The personnel transitions, layoffs and other changes so far total about 4,000.

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4 comments

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Why don't they just take the A out of AOL
So AOL is laying off people here in the states and leaving foriegn call centers untouched. I have several friends who work or have worked at the main campus for AOL, and each one has the same story: AOL expects your job to run your life, you need to work at least 60 hours to keep people happy. None of the ones who left AOL were laid off, just completely unstaisfied with their jobs. So why don't they just rename the company and send all their operations overseas, where they can push their employees around for a pittance of a salary. And while they are at it, the AOL senior management should all be forced to call in a problem and see how long it takes to get resolved.
Posted by aen916 (5 comments )
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Read carefully
While I can't dispute the satisfaction level of the employees. The story clearly stated that the European operations were being SOLD. Therefore, they didn't leave the "overseas" jobs alone, they eliminated them altogether.
Posted by Ten6Niner (5 comments )
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That's just to make it that much harder to...
cancel you subscription. This will make it very hard on the Indian economy.
Posted by wtortorici (102 comments )
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Uh...
Is there anyone who DIDN'T see this coming? The AOL service is free. Of course the call centers would be closed down... why would they want to provide phone support for a free service?
Posted by oceanbug (6 comments )
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