At least 15 marketers have accepted the internet company's offer of voluntary redundancy. This includes head of creative solutions and creative services Jo Tomlin and Andrew Bradford, who is director of insight and strategy.
Tomlin, who was previously head of trade marketing at AOL, has been at the business for nearly two years. She joined the company from CBS Outdoor having been a marketer at Time Out magazine.
The redundancies are part of AOL's plan to reduce its entire workforce by a third following its spin-off from parent company Time Warner last year.
They coincide with David Shing's recruitment as European marketing director. He replaces Rohit Agarwal who also took voluntary redundancy.
Shing will be working alongside AOL's US marketing director, Eugenia Makhlin, who has been drafted in to look after both trade and consumer marketing.
According to industry observers, Shing will face a significant challenge as he seeks to rebuild the once-mighty AOL brand.
‘AOL is a big brand to shift and perceptions of it are strong,' says Rob Oubridge, managing director of branding agency Aqueduct. ‘It's low-tech, and, while it was pioneering for early adopters of the internet, I now consider it outdated.'
He also suggests that, with the brand now committed to a content strategy ‘to deliver niche and premium-content sites', it could be difficult to persuade potential users that it offers a better service than rival providers.
However, Joseph Leon, associate partner at digital agency Essence, disagrees. ‘The brand isn't in jeopardy,' he says. ‘That will only happen if AOL stops investing in the brand and its sub-brands. The company is like a jigsaw puzzle: it just depends on whether it can fit the pieces together.'
Iris Digital's managing director, George Nimeh, says staying relevant is the key to AOL's future success and that it will have to transform itself if it wants to stay afloat. ‘For some brands it's about evolution not revolution, but AOL has to radically overhaul the business and that will be a steep hill to climb,' he adds.
AOL's UK managing director Michael Steckler left his post in January; further redundancies are expected across
However, it is understood that some of the departing members of the marketing team could be replaced because all those leaving are doing so on a voluntary basis.
AOL said it was unable to comment on redundancies.
This article was first published on marketingmagazine.co.uk