Folks, time to celebrate.
Maneesh Dhir, the head of AOL International and the bloke responsible for aggressively pushing AOL’s expansion into India, has quit.
We say Good Riddance to Bad Rubbish.
God knows, how many jobs Maneesh killed in the U.S. in his missionary zeal to outsource AOL operations to India.
A recent memo from AOL CEO Randy Falco as well as Maneesh’s bio (still up on the AOL web site) make it clear that Maneesh played a key role in what we consider the let’s outsource-to-India mania that’s taken hold of AOL and the rest of corporate America (much to the detriment of U.S. workers).
As Falco writes in his memo announcing Maneesh’s departure:
Maneesh helped us learn the benefits of tapping into a worldwide pool of talent. It was his idea to open an AOL call center in Bangalore in 2002, which quickly became our largest. Two years later, he pushed for the creation of the Bangalore Development Center and the Bangalore Knowledge Centerâ€“important centers for technology, finance, analytics and shared services that are now part of the AOL India operations. (Source: allthingsd)
It’s folks like Maneesh aided by the clowns on Wall Street that have pushed America to the brink and decimated the American middle class. A few years back, when we called to cancel our AOL subscription service, the call landed in Bangalore.
Maneesh’s bio on the AOL web site also makes his outsourcing role clear:
Before he was named to his current position in 2007, Dhir was Senior Vice President and Country Manager, based in Bangalore, India. There he led a large workforce across technology development, back-office operations, and call center operations. In addition, he has been instrumental in the development of the soon-to-be launched India portal. Earlier, Dhir played a key role in establishing and launching AOL’s operations in Bangalore.
Guys, do not be deluded by all this gobbledygook rhetoric on free trade. Indians do not respect free trade. In India, there is considerable opposition and violence when people from one state move to another in search of jobs (look at the plight of Biharis in Mumbai lately).
Falco’s memo also mentions that Maneesh is ‘ready to return to his entrepreneurial roots’ but will stay on for a few months to help with the transition.
A graduate of IIT Delhi, Maneesh was Executive VP International, with responsibility for AOL International and its operations in Asia, Europe, and the Americas. Apparently, Maneesh was based in India.
Maneesh came to AOL via the acquisition of Netscape in 1999. Those days, AOL was still a big force. But that was then.
Over the last 10 years, the disastrous Time Warner acquisition, failure to leverage and integrate Time Warner’s content cornucopia with AOL, more nimble players like Google, failure to quickly move beyond Internet-lite, the growth of broadband and inept management have all combined to push AOL to the periphery of the online world.
Just imagine, if AOL had launched a Netflix-like service. With the AOL huge subscriber base those days, that’d would have been a relatively easy sell. Alas, no such innovative offering debuted from AOL.
At the end of year 2000, AOL had over 26 million subscribers. At the end of 2008, that number was 6.9 million (the service has been available for free via the web since 2006 and AOL is now belatedly emphasizing its advertising business).
By the way, it seems some realignment in AOL India is imminent.