- 800 jobs to be cut
- “Difficult decisions”, says CEO
- Verizon shares up by 1.35%
On Wednesday, Verizon Media Group announced that it will be cutting staff numbers by around 800, which represents 7% of the company’s total work force.
The division of parent company Verizon Communications, which includes Yahoo Finance, TechCrunch and HuffPost, sent an email to employees explaining the move.
“These were difficult decisions, and we will ensure that our colleagues are treated with respect and fairness, and given the support they need,” Verizon Media Chief Executive Guru Gowrappan wrote, according to published reports.
“I want to be clear that we will continue to scale, launch new products and innovate. We are an important part of Verizon … Now is the time to go on the offensive, go deep on our big priorities and do everything we can to advance the business,” Gowrappan added.
Formerly known as Oath, Verizon Media was created by Verizon last November after the company bought AOL in 2015 for $4.5 billion and Yahoo for around the same price in 2017. However, it was announced in December that the unit’s value would be written down by $4.6 billion, a figure representing around half of what the company had paid for AOL and Yahoo collectively.
Three priority areas have been identified by Gowrappan as being targets for the company in the first quarter of 2019. “First, grow our member-centric ecosystem with must-have mobile and video products and stem desktop declines; second, increase usage and spends flowing through B2B platforms; third, expand our video supply and overall distribution through partnerships,” he wrote in a memo.
After the news of the layoffs broke, Verizon shares increased by 1.35% and closed at $57.76.
This latest round of cutbacks follows a buyout offer at parent company Verizon in December, which was accepted by more than 10,000 employees.