- Reuters/Steve Marcus
- HuffPost started laying off employees on Thursday.
- Verizon Media chief executive Guru Gowrappan emailed staff a day before to announce that 7% of staff would be laid off.
- Verizon announced in December that the integration of its other media properties Yahoo and AOL never achieved the benefits it anticipated.
HuffPost started laying off employees on Thursday following the news that its parent Verizon Media Group would slash staff by 7%.
HuffPost employees started receiving calendar invitations to meet with human resources in the morning, according to HuffPost reporter Andy Campbell. Among the areas impacted was the opinion editorial team, which was eliminated, according to Chloe Angyal, one of the opinion writers affected.
A day before, Verizon Media chief executive Guru Gowrappan emailed staff to say the company would focus on three priorities in the first quarter, including mobile and video-focused products. The cuts are expected to affect about 750 employees.
The company has not issued further specifics on which parts of Verizon Media will be most impacted, but said the decision was made to “focus the business and realign teams across Verizon Media and Verizon.”
“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,” a spokesperson for Verizon Media said in a statement to Business Insider.
Verizon Media Group – a combination of technology and media assets formed through 2015’s AOL acquisition and the 2017 Yahoo acquisition – has seen seismic changes in its roughly one year of existence.
In December, Verizon announced that it expected to write down the value of the business by $4.6 billion in the fourth quarter of 2018. In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, the company cited competitive pressures in the digital ad business and an integration between Yahoo and AOL that never achieved the benefits Verizon anticipated.
And in January, Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg told Axios that Verizon Media would need to make money without the use of Verizon’s vast subscriber data, a stark reversal of the original premise of the acquisition.
In addition to HuffPost, BuzzFeed and Gannett this week also announced layoffs.