Patch, AOL’s hyperlocal site, laid off around 350 employees today. The eliminated positions, which represent about 40 percent of the workforce, could increase to 500 if AOL doesn’t succeed in finding partners for some of the underperforming sites, ALL Things D reported this morning. For now, that leaves 150 people in limbo.
CEO Tim Armstrong was expected to announce 500 layoffs on a conference call last Friday (instead, Mr. Armstrong publicly fired a staffer for taking his picture during the call, and then sort of apologized for it this week).
Employees were separated into two rooms based on their fate, Business Insider reports.
“AOL held simultaneous meetings in two different rooms,” a source told Business Insider. “One room was full of Patch employees who were about to be fired and the other was full of employees who got to keep their jobs.” Staffers who work remotely dialed into the meetings. BI speculates that the employees were given different dial-in numbers according to their employment process.
According to Jim Romenesko, the laid off employees get two months severance (which helps soften the blow).
Farewell emails and personal accounts are trickling out. But it’s safe to assume that after last week’s debacle, there won’t be many pictures.