Yahoo cutting another 140 employees

Faith Merino · January 25, 2011 · Short URL:

The cuts come only one month after the company laid off some 600 employees

More bad news for Yahoo employees.  The Web giant confirmed Tuesday that it is cutting 140 employees, in addition to the 600 it cut last month.  The cuts are not monumental, amounting to a mere 1% of the company’s global employee base, but the news is nevertheless startling given the huge cuts the company has already made.

The December cuts marked the company’s fourth mass culling in only three years as part of CEO Carol Bartz’ strategy to reduce costs and get the company back on track.  The New York Times reported that the latest round of cuts was aimed primarily at Yahoo’s marketing department, according to an unnamed insider.

The company’s statement is as follows:

The personnel changes we are making are part of our ongoing strategy to best position Yahoo! for revenue growth and margin expansion and to support our strategy to deliver differentiated products and experiences to the marketplace. We’ll continue to hire on a global basis to support our key priorities. Today’s action impacts approximately 1% of the global employee base.

The December cuts amounted to 4% of the company’s entire headcount.  In addition to the layoffs, Yahoo also killed off or sold several sites, including MyBlogLog, Yahoo Picks, AltaVista, Yahoo Bookmarks, Yahoo Buzz, and Delicious.

Yahoo is expected to announce its fourth-quarter earnings this afternoon, but few are anticipating stellar numbers.  Yahoo’s third-quarter earnings showed a 2% increase in revenue compared to Q2 2010, and year-over-year growth of 107%, doubling to $189 million from $91 million in Q3 2009. Of the Yahoo services that saw growth, display advertising predictably took the cake, which explains why display is one of the areas that Bartz hopes to focus on this year with the aim of having it carry Yahoo into the next year. 

The company is also trying out different services, like the ever-ubiquitous daily deal offering.  At Web 2.0 in November, Bartz announced that Yahoo had partnered with Groupon among other deal sites to curate discounts for Yahoo Deals.  It was a noble effort, but some have criticized the move as being lackluster in its execution, considering the fact that Yahoo only partnered with 20 deal providers for the new feature.  “Yipit currently aggregates over 130 daily deal services creating a much more comprehensive experience,” said Yipit CEO Vinicius Vacanti back in November.  “If users rely on Yahoo for their daily deals, they will be missing out on 80 percent of the deals.”

Tuesday afternoon’s earnings call will determine whether or not Yahoo is on the right track with these cuts. 

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