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Yahoo Layoffs Begin, CEO Sends Employees Apologetic Letter 138

redletterdave writes "As expected, Yahoo began laying off more than 2,000 employees on Wednesday morning — roughly 14 percent of the company's total workforce — in its effort to slim down and pivot its focus in a new direction. The mass layoff marks the sixth time in four years — and under three different CEOs, no less — that Yahoo has dumped employees, but this one will the company's biggest in its 17-year history. Scott Thompson, Yahoo's CEO, sent an apologetic letter to all his employees this morning explaining the changes."
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Yahoo Layoffs Begin, CEO Sends Employees Apologetic Letter

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  • Re:My Kif sigh. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by LittleBigScript ( 618162 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @04:29PM (#39576705) Homepage Journal

    At least they are getting a severance. When I got laid off from Nortel, they went into Chapter 11 just so Pavi Binning didn't have to give out no stinkin' severance.

  • Re:My Kif sigh. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @04:33PM (#39576773)

    I'm not a fan of the raid1ers; but did it occur to anybody that there's not that much need to innovate at Yahoo?

    As a long-timer user of the service, it reached that point a while ago. Many of the changes they've made have not been for the better. It's all the trendy "let's add AJAX to this page" crap that just slows it down in the older browsers which is... hello!!! A large part of their customer base. Geezers like me.

    These companies need to learn how not to break what don't need fixin'. I'm thinking of the Finance pages in particular. The GNUplot charts were some of the best out there. The interactive charts had marginal utility at best, and dumbed things down at their worst. In the back of their mind they know this, which is why they had to retain a lot of their "classic" features.

    I would submit that a full-blown spinout of the legacy customer base, with a "Chinese wall" between the departments would be a better solution. The kids who want AJAXy mobile "app" layouts can be the mainline Yahoo, or the new Yahoo; but for cryin' out loud don't mix the two.

    Yes, the legacy base will get smaller over time; but do you have any idea how many struggling startups would KILL to have half the customer base of the dying legacy section?

    Yeah, I know what you're thinking Mr. CXO. You can force the legacy customers to "upgrade". No you can't. Listen to me and get it through you're necktie addled brain--when you pull changes on us and we don't want them, it doesn't become "whoah is me, I can't do anything". Instead it becomes, "well, I'm back to square 1. Let's see what else is out there". Guess what? There's a lot out there.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @04:34PM (#39576813)

    We need a new law governing layoffs.

    If layoffs are about restructuring a company so it can better respond to the market and so it can be profitable, we need some new conditions to ensure that not only are layoffs necessary, but that they're structured to effect long term growth and stability.

    In the event of a layoff:
    1) executive pay increases are frozen and executive pay is limited to no more than three times the median company salary (excluding executive pay).
    2) stock grants to executives are suspended for a period of one year following the layoff.
    3) stock vesting is suspended for two years following the layoff.
    4) executive bonuses are suspended for a period of two years following the layoff.
    5) any new layoff resets the clock.

    This way executive compensation is disconnected from any short-term gains or profits realized from a slash and burn strategy. If they want to reap big rewards they have to manage the long term growth of the company.

    but I know that's just a pipe dream. no law will ever be passed and you know they're not going to vote this on themselves.

  • Re:My Kif sigh. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by undeadbill ( 2490070 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @04:51PM (#39577113)

    I was living and working in the Bay Area back in 1991. Yahoo! was primarily a massive indexing operation then, the largest employer of library sciences majors outside of the CIA, and employed several friends of mine. Historically, they have always laid off large groups of staff, and then hired new staff to replace them under different titles, thereby skirting state employment law. I've pretty much been able to time their layoffs, because their recruiters have my number, and they start doing interviews in advance of the firings, like clockwork. Well, up until I told them in several rude ways to stop calling me.

    Nobody who wants a long term job works for Yahoo. I'd say the current round of layoffs is just that, the current round. Continuously firing their performing (ie, highest wage earning) staff would also explain why they have done nothing notable since, oh, the early 90s. Everything they have done was simply to keep up with the Joneses. Web space didn't happen until geocities and angelfire became popular, and after their own failed attempts Yahoo then just bought Geo. Mail wasn't added until HotMail took off. Automating directory services didn't happen until Google. I could go on- but they have always been an overhyped dog of a stock, slow to adapt, and their lugubrious descent into failure hasn't surprised me in the least.

    The clincher for me was when they were considered the "gold standard", and their shares were over at over $450 per. This was when they were still doing indexing with librarians. Once I saw that, I quickly changed my skillset to survive the coming dot-bomb and socked away my cash.

  • Re:Wrong question (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rgbrenner ( 317308 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @06:08PM (#39578493)

    Normally you would be right.. but Yahoo isn't a weak company. It just hasn't kept up with Google.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/q/ks?s=YHOO+Key+Statistics [yahoo.com]

    5 billion in revenue
    1 billion in net income
    2 billion in cash (1.3 billion in operating cash flow)
    no debt

    They have a problem with falling revenues, and as a result, falling profits. Their profits declined 5.3% yoy -- so instead of 1.10 billion, they only made 1.05 billion.

    Yahoo has the resources to build their company.. they just don't have a vision. And this guy... he doesn't have a vision either.

    He is slashing and burning... he is not going to lead Yahoo anywhere.. he's just destroying the company further.

"The pathology is to want control, not that you ever get it, because of course you never do." -- Gregory Bateson