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AOL to fire 2,500 `volunteers`

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In its next step to come out of the bad phase, AOL plans to invest $200 million firing a good chunk of its staff. The company has announced that it will be firing 2,500 employees, and looking for volunteers.

The voluntary layoff program begins on December 4, a few days before the company spins off from Time Warner, reports CNET News. Tim Armstrong, CEO, AOL says that the cuts will drop its annual operating expenses by $300 million. Through the first nine months of this year, AOL`s operating expenses ran around $1.8 billion.

Meanwhile, AOL is looking to shed some parts of its business altogether. It has hired bankers to sell off its ICQ messaging service and is considering dumping MapQuest, among other assets.

Additionally, Armstrong is giving up his 2009 bonus, which was to be at least $1.5 million. He says, "As a member of our team and the person who takes accountability for the results of the company, I am making the decision to forgo my 2009 bonus. That decision is a personal one and is not a sign for the future payout of the overall bonus plan for employees."

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