AOL to lay off several hundred employees

Net giant will lay off up to several hundred staffers, with entire content side of AOL taking brunt owing to Huffington Post acquisition.

Kara Swisher

The AOL layoffs are finally here, and they are smaller than some had been expecting.

According to several people close to the situation, the New York-based Internet giant will lay off up to several hundred staffers starting Thursday in very targeted areas of the company's U.S. operations, in a move that CEO Tim Armstrong signaled last week was coming.

Sources said there will be no staffers let go in its network group or advertising sales unit, but editorial and other media product groups will be impacted. Also on the chopping block are jobs in India, which will mean many more hundreds of job cuts in addition.

The layoffs are much smaller in number than the last one AOL did, in which 2,300 people lost their jobs. The company has a little more than 5,000 employees now.

Among those leaving are Jonathan Dube, AOL's SVP of News, sources said, who only arrived at AOL in November from his previous position as VP of ABCNews.com.

The entire content side of AOL is taking the brunt of the layoffs, due to overlap with The Huffington Post, which AOL bought for $315 million. The acquisition of the news and opinion site closed on Monday.

As part of the deal, Co-founder Arianna Huffington will be leading content efforts for the entire company.

Sources said she is likely to be making some dramatic changes, likely to be announced soon, to the way editorial products are created and presented to consumers.