NEW YORK — AOL Inc. is laying off up to half the workforce at its Patch local news sites and shuttering or consolidating roughly 150 of the 900 sites while looking for partners for others.
Up to 500 of Patch’s 1,000 employees will go in the layoffs, which started on Friday with 350 people getting pink slips. In all, the layoffs amount to about 9 percent of AOL’s total workforce of 5,500.
AOL Inc. CEO Tim Armstrong co-founded Patch, an ambitious experiment in local news meant to compete with newspapers, in 2007. AOL bought it in 2009 after Tim Armstrong had taken over the helm of the New York-based Internet company.
The second logo for AOL, used from 2006–2009 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
(Reuters) – AOL Inc said it would sell over 800 of its patents and related applications to Microsoft Corp , and would grant Microsoft a non-exclusive license to the patents it retains, for slightly over $1 billion in cash.
AOL’s shares jumped 37 percent to $25.16 in trading before the bell on Monday. They closed at $18.42 on Friday on the New York Stock Exchange.
The Internet company said it plans to return a “significant portion of the sale proceeds” to shareholders.