Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

Verizon Takes Reins in Silicon Valley Amid AOL-Yahoo Layoffs

  • Armstrong meets with staff in Sunnyvale for integration
  • Executive sees 2,100 job cuts to eliminate redundancy

Verizon Communications Inc. executives descended on the Silicon Valley headquarters of their latest acquisition, Yahoo! Inc., to usher in what they’re heralding as a bright new era for some of the faded stars of the internet age.

Tim Armstrong, chief executive officer of the Verizon digital division now called Oath, is in Sunnyvale, California, meeting with staff and beginning the integration work to combine Yahoo, acquired Tuesday for $4.5 billion, with Verizon’s AOL unit. The first steps will include a reduction of about 15 percent of Oath’s combined staff -- about 2,100 people -- with a focus on redundant tasks, such as support for two email systems.

The job cuts will start Wednesday and continue through this week at locations that also include New York, Armstrong said in an interview. He declined to provide an estimate on cost savings and wouldn’t say whether any units will be shut completely. Engineering and product jobs will be least affected, he said.

HuffPost, the news site run by AOL, laid off 39 union members Wednesday, the Writers Guild of America said in a statement.

New York-based Verizon acquired AOL two years ago and also has an online video application, go90. The mobile-phone company aims to attract online visitors to its digital properties to fuel advertising growth and enhance its core business of helping consumers send and receive information on their devices or watch television channels.

“Verizon is the giant in mobile -- the service is everywhere,” Armstrong said. “I’m very excited about what we are going to do with that reach.”

— With assistance by Gerry Smith

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