Fired: More Bad News From AOL

Dennis Faas's picture

It wasn't so long ago that we reported on the reluctant decision of America On Line to lay off some 5,000 of its workers.

At that time, extremely slow dial-up sales had reduced AOL to losses in that sector, demanding that it change its outlook strategy and in doing so, restructure. The move cost thousands their jobs. Today, more bad news is leaking from AOL, as it appears three significant employees have been terminated after a recent scandal over released customer information.

The most alarming termination surrounds Maureen Govern, AOL's Chief Technology Officer. Hired in September of last year to replace the promoted John McKinley, Govern appears to be the scapegoat -- correctly or incorrectly -- after a formal inquiry into the release of web-search data of a number of AOL's customers. (Source:

The two other employees axed include the technician directly responsible for the leak and his supervisor, both members of AOL's reSearch team. As a result of the chaos, the reSearch website has been sent offline. (Source:

At the moment, AOL is making no direct statement to the media or public on the release of search information. It appears the firings are its only response to the scandal, although the terminations themselves were only uncovered after a Wall Street Journal investigation. (Source:

Although AOL is already hurting, the governing body of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) might just kick the company while it is down. The EFF has filed a formal complaint with the Federal Trade Commission over AOL's release of said web-search details. (Source:

We'll keep you posted on AOL's trials as it attempts to repair a once highly respected name.

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