AOL slashes workforce in US anew

About 450 workers at the Dulles headquarters of AOL were laid off as the company continues restructuring away from its traditional roots as a subscription-based provider of dial-up Internet access, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report said AOL announced in August that it planned to cut about 5,000 jobs, or roughly a fourth of its global workforce, as it embarked on major changes designed to shift the company's revenue stream from subscription fees to online advertising.

Many of AOL's key features, like email accounts, are now available for free.

The report quoted AOL spokesman Andrew Weinstein as saying that the layoffs essentially represent the final round of job cuts.

Worldwide layoffs roughly matched the 5,000 figure cited back in August, but fewer of the cuts came at the Dulles headquarters than had been anticipated, the report said.

Since the company announced its broad plans in August, it has closed all four of its domestic call centers in Ogden, Utah; Albuquerque, N.M .; Tucson, Ariz.: and Oklahoma City. All of its call centers are now located overseas, in Bangalore, India, and the Philippines, Weinstein said.

In August, AOL's parent company, Time Warner, said it expected to spend $250 million to $350 million through 2007 to implement changes at AOL. About half of that was earmarked for employee severance, the report further said.