AOL seeks to shrink workforce by a third after spin-off

AOL after Time Warner will be a substantially smaller company, at least in terms of the number of people it employs. The Internet pioneer, which is the parent of DailyFinance, revealed the rough outlines of a long-anticipated downsizing Thursday, saying it plans to reduce its global workforce by one-third, or 2,500 people, following its spin-off from Time Warner (TWX) next month.

To achieve that figure, the company is offering enhanced severance packages to volunteers who step forward between Dec. 4 and Dec. 11. (The spin-off will take place Dec. 9.) If the reduction can't be achieved solely through voluntary departures, the remainder will take the form of layoffs, with those workers receiving less-generous severance pay and benefits.