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Verizon Slashes Hundreds of Jobs

layoff pink slips

Verizon on Thursday confirmed it has handed pink slips to about 7 percent of its digital media global workforce across the organization, as well as certain brands and products.

This comes in addition to the communications giant’s plan to shed 10,400 workers by mid-2019 as part of its voluntary separation program.

Verizon Media Group formerly was branded Oath, which ran both AOL and Yahoo. It included just over 11,300 employees at the end of the year.

A Verizon Media spokeperson provided the following statement:

“Our goal is to create the best experiences for our consumers and the best platforms for our customers. Today marks a strategic step toward better execution of our plans for growth and innovation into the future.”

In the first quarter, Verizon Media has three priority areas: growing its member-centric ecosystem with “must-have” mobile and video products, and stemming desktop declines; increasing usage and spending flowing through business-to-business platforms; and expanding video supply and overall distribution through partnerships.

Verizon's Guru Gowrappan

Verizon’s Guru Gowrappan

“These were difficult decisions, and we will ensure that our colleagues are treated with respect and fairness, and given the support they need,” wrote Guru Gowrappan, Verizon Media’s CEO, in an email to employees. “Resources and other career support will be provided to help our team members navigate the transition.”

“In addition, we’ve completed an exhaustive review to prioritize the programs that are currently in our portfolio — consumer products, ad products, platform features, partnerships and data centers,” he said. “I want to be clear that we will continue to scale, launch new products and innovate. We are an important part of Verizon and the $7 billion-plus in revenue we generate through our member-centric ecosystem puts us among the top tech/media companies in the world. Now is the time to go on the offensive, go deep on our big priorities and do everything we can to advance the business.”

Verizon and the other big telcos are in a race to keep up with large social-media brands that own a huge portion of digital-advertising spend, CNET noted. That’s what the purchases of Yahoo and AOL in recent years were intended to do, but the value of those companies hasn’t been what Verizon had expected. Rival AT&T has fared better with its digital-acquisition strategy, adding Time Warner’s vast content lineup and satellite TV provider DirecTV to its portfolio.

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