Rumors swirling over a possible round of layoffs at web-giant Yahoo, turned out to be true and exhibited the worst-possible timing for employees cut-loose just prior to the holidays. Today, Yahoo confirmed that roughly 600 employees would be let-go as the company continues to attempt a turnaround under the leadership of CEO Carol Bartz.
In an official statement released today, Yahoo attempted to explain their recent decision.
“Today’s personnel changes 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 to the marketplace. We’ll continue to hire on a global basis to support our key priorities. Yahoo is grateful for the important contributions made by the employees affected by this reduction. We are offering severance packages and outplacement services to these employees.”
The layoffs affect roughly 4 percent of its total workforce of 14,100 employees, but underscore the one-time pioneering Internet company’s recent misfortunes. Most industry-watchers seem to pin Yahoo’s rough performance on general mismanagement and a series of unsuccessful merger opportunities. As you may recall, Yahoo turned a cold shoulder to Microsoft’s 2008 offer to purchase the company for an excess of $30-per-share, a roughly $45 billion offer.
Industry analysts suggest that plans to turn Yahoo around under the leadership of CEO Carol Bartz is failing. Internal turmoil has seen numerous top executives voluntarily head for the exits. The company’s layoffs contrast sharply with Yahoo’s rivals like Google, Facebook and even AOL who are adding new workers so quickly, they are creating a red-hot market for tech talent.
Still, despite today’s announcement, Yahoo remains a hugely popular and highly-trafficked destination, mainly due to their top-ranked news portal as well as Yahoo e-mail, the most widely used e-mail service in the United States.