Verizon’s Oath Is Laying Off Around 500 AOL, Yahoo Employees

The Oath does not include a guarantee of employment.

Verizon’s Oath internet-media division is cutting more jobs, with the latest round of layoffs affecting around 500 staffers from the former AOL and Yahoo brands. That represents 4% of its total global headcount of approximately 12,000.

The pink slips are on top of the roughly 2,100 jobs eliminated in June at Oath, a 15% reduction in force, following Verizon’s closing of the $4.5 billion deal for Yahoo.

In a statement, an Oath rep said, “We’re about four months post-close of Verizon’s acquisition of Yahoo, and we’ve made these changes to our team to further align our global organization to our 2018 road map.” At the same time, the rep said, Oath will continue to hire “across our priority business units.”

The cutbacks, which span  multiple regions and departments, show that Oath is still in consolidation-and-streamline mode. Execs have touted the AOL-Yahoo combo as pooling brands that reach 1 billion monthly users, but the nitty-gritty details of stitching those together into a well-oiled machine is another matter.

Tim Armstrong (pictured above), the former AOL boss who is now Oath’s CEO, has set a target of reaching 2 billion consumers by 2020. The positioning to marketers is to provide a high-scale alternative to Google and Facebook, the two behemoths of online advertising. Oath’s brands are “trusted places to do marketing,” Armstrong told reporters at Cannes Lions this summer: “We are probably the single largest, cleanest source of consumer traffic and data.”

The Oath media and tech brands include AOL.com and Yahoo.com, HuffPost, Yahoo Sports, Yahoo Finance, TechCrunch, Engadget, MAKERS, Tumblr, Build Studios, Yahoo Mail, Moviefone, Flickr and Verizon Digital Media Services.

According to Oath’s marketing website, the new name for the group — which was mocked when it was announced this spring — “represents the commitment we’ve made to building brands and it honors the promises we make to each other, our partners, clients and the world every day.”

The cuts at Oath come as Marni Walden, Verizon’s EVP and president of global media who led the telco’s takeover of Yahoo, is exiting the company in February 2018. She’ll step away from day-to-day management at the end of 2017.

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