Verizon Communications will cut 7 percent from its media division, formerly known as Oath, as part of a broader effort to restructure the struggling business, a company spokesperson confirmed on Wednesday.
Guru Gowrappan, who became CEO of Verizon Media last October, announced the cuts in an email to staffers on Wednesday after a lengthy internal review. The rebranded segment, which includes Yahoo and the Huffington Post, will focus on building out Yahoo’s mobile and video-focused product offerings, as well as increasing video output for its media properties and partners and generating revenue from its advertising platforms.
“These were difficult decisions, and we will ensure that our colleagues are treated with respect and fairness, and given the support they need,” Gowrappan said. “Resources and other career support will be provided to help our team members navigate the transition.”
Verizon’s media segment had more than 11,000 employees through the end of 2018, meaning that the cuts will impact about 800 members of the company’s global workforce. Verizon took a $4.6 billion goodwill impairment charge in the fourth quarter based on weak performance from its media business.
The layoffs come as Verizon looks to cut down on its costs and prioritize key business initiatives. Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg has identified 5G technology as a key element of the company’s turnaround push.
"Our goal is to create the best experiences for our consumers and the best platforms for our customers. Today marks a strategic step toward better execution of our plans for growth and innovation into the future,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
Verizon is attempting to cut $10 billion in expenses over the next few years. The company announced in December that 10,400 employees had accepted severance offers as part of a voluntary program.