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AOL cuts 5,000 jobs

Time Warner’s AOL unit said on Thursday that about 5,000 jobs, equal to around one-quarter of the firm’s worldwide workforce, would be cut in the next six months.AOL chief executive Jonathan Miller told employees yesterday that the company’s workforce of 19,000 would have to be cut down to 14,000. AOL did not provide details of where and how the jobs would go.

Job cuts are part of a grand plan AOL unveiled Wednesday that will see the online giant halt all marketing on its internet access business and will offer its popular e-mail and other services free of charge to broadband Web surfers.

AOL boasted 27 million worldwide subscribers in 2002 but it badly underestimated the growth of broadband and the increasing sophistication of other competitive internet programs.AOL did confirm that the 5,000 jobs include workers at AOL’s dial-up internet access operation in France. AOL said it is in exclusive negotiations to sell the business to the French telephone company Neuf Cegetel.

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