Verizon Wireless is planning to cut approximately 15 percent of the combined workforce of AOL and Yahoo, industry sources said on Thursday, shortly after shareholders of the Sunnyvale, California-based company approved the sale of its core Internet business to the largest mobile service provider in the United States. Verizon previously announced its intentions to combine AOL and Yahoo into a new unit called Oath that's set to be officially established this summer. Yahoo and AOL currently number around 14,000 employees, meaning more than 2,100 may lose their jobs in the coming weeks as the Big Red will be looking to deal with redundancies that are said to exist in both companies.
AOL employees have reportedly been incentivized by Verizon to hit its new redundancy targets in recent months, though the wireless carrier has yet to detail voluntary redundancies in any official capacity. An update on the situation will likely follow shortly as Verizon is now ramping up its efforts to establish Oath and deal with all obstacles that are in the way of the company becoming fully operational. Oath is meant to operate in a similar manner to how AOL has been functioning since Verizon acquired it in mid-2015, albeit ennobled with Yahoo's assets. Verizon's executives previously stated that the newly formed company will be looking to compete with the likes of Google and Facebook in the digital advertising segment.
Verizon's acquisition of Yahoo was originally set to be completed last year but turned into a drawn-out saga after Yahoo found itself in the center of a couple of hacking scandals that resulted in hundreds of millions of its user accounts being compromised by foreign hackers. The company subsequently made negative headlines after reports that it helped the U.S. government analyze the contents of its users' emails, with Verizon later negotiating a price cut on its acquisition that reportedly cost it around $4.5 billion in the end. It's still unclear how Yahoo's flagship assets like Yahoo Mail and Tumblr will be integrated into AOL's offerings or vice versa, but more details on the manner in which the company's Internet businesses will operate under the Oath moniker are likely to be available soon, no later than this summer.