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Incredibly shrinking AOL is laying off 40, report says

The effort to turn AOL around doesn't appear to be going well as the company is cutting back in its instant message and e-mail groups.

Tim Armstrong, AOL CEO. Google

AOL plans to layoff as many as 40 employees, and the cuts will come mostly from the company's instant-messaging and e-mail units, according to a published report.

Eric van Miltenburg, senior vice president of operations, and Jason Shellen, who was overseeing AIM, are also leaving, according to AllThingsD, which broke the story.

Tim Armstrong, AOL's chief, is supposed to be leading a turnaround of the company. In the past year, however, revenue has continued to fall as top executives shuffle in and out.

A company representative wasn't immediately available to comment.

AOL is now facing a challenge from an activist shareholder, according to AllThingsD.

Armstrong's tenure has also been marked by troubles at some of AOL's high-profile media acquisitions. AOL acquired The Huffington Post and tech news sites TechCrunch and Engadget.

While things at the Huffington Post have appeared to go smoothly, TechCrunch and Engadget have endured departures of the most popular writers at both publications .

Armstrong's position at AOL would appear to be more uncertain than ever.