AOL Patch upheaval: Hundreds of layoffs but also new CEO

Summary:AOL's CEO has been defensive in the past about Patch's value, stressing that it has just been an investment needing more time. Is time running out?

Things are getting rough (more so than usual) over at AOL's hyper-local news service, Patch.

According to a report from TechCrunch (also an AOL subsidiary), CEO Tim Armstrong confirmed two important personnel changes:

  1. There are at least "hundreds" of layoffs coming soon.
  2. Patch is getting a new CEO: Bud Rosenthal.
zdnet-aol-patch-bud-headshot
The new CEO of Patch: Bud Rosenthal.

Rosenthal replaces Steven Kalin, who appears to have been shown the door quietly earlier this week.

However, he is still listed as Patch's chief executive on the company's management team page.

AOL itself hasn't published a statement yet as of the time this article was originally published.

Up until now, Rosenthal has been president of paid services and membership at AOL while also overseeing global services, such as customer support and billing for the Internet company.

Prior to his stint at AOL, Rosenthal has also held leadership positions at Yahoo, RealNetworks, and served as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Charles River Ventures.

It has been plainly evident to anyone following the history of Patch that the beleaguered news site is in need of changes.

Armstrong has been defensive in the past about the property's value, stressing that it has just been an investment needing more time.

But based on the latest turn of events, time is running out. Thus, perhaps a dramatic shift at the top could stave off future layoffs.

As for the present, 400 Patch sites are on the chopping block to either be merged with another site -- or shuttered altogether.

Image via AOL

Topics: IT Employment, Apps, Social Enterprise, Tech Industry

About

Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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