AOL staff in UK face axe as firm plans to cut more than 1,000 jobs in Europe

AOL workers’ jobs in the UK are under threat as the firm announced plans to shed more than 1,000 positions and shut many of its European offices.

The internet giant confirmed there would be a “significant” reduction in UK staff numbers, but would not say by how many or when.

The latest move follows a worldwide voluntary redundancy restructuring programme, which began last year, and aimed to decrease its 6,900 workforce by one-third. About 4,500 are located in the US and more than 2,300 employees are based internationally.

However, only 1,100 employees chose the voluntary option, prompting the firm to consult with staff about compulsory redundancies.

In a statement, an AOL spokesman said: “In the UK, we will be significantly reducing our staff, but will continue to have a robust advertising operation as well as a consumer offering. Ireland will remain a core technology development centre for the company. Both the UK and Ireland were part of the voluntary separation programme we ran last year.”

AOL offices in Germany, Finland, Sweden and Spain will close, and compulsory redundancies will begin in the US tomorrow.

Cost pressures and an increasingly competitive internet landscape were among the reasons behind the decision, AOL said.

The spokesman added: “This is never easy, particularly when it impacts our employees directly. We are committed to doing everything we can for impacted employees to make sure their transition from AOL to a new position is as smooth as possible.”

The news comes as latest unemployment figures show that nearly 2.5 million people are out of work.

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