AOL to lay off 1,400 call center workers

The company will close two U.S. call centers and sell one as part of a restructuring announced in August.

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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