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Old 11-18-2006   #1
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Layoffs of 15-20% of Yahoo! staff and reversal of priorities

Via http://slashdot.org/articles/06/11/18/2049243.shtml

Quote:
"Yahoo!'s Senior VP Brad Garlinghouse sent out a company-wide memo calling for layoffs of 15-20% of Yahoo! staff and reversal of priorities to concentrate on major issues facing the company. (The Wall Street Journal posted a copy of the memo.) MarketWatch quotes Garlinghouse: 'I've heard our strategy described as spreading peanut butter across the myriad opportunities that continue to evolve in the online world. The result: a thin layer of investment spread across everything we do and thus we focus on nothing in particular. I hate peanut butter. We all should.'"
Care to discuss?
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Old 11-18-2006   #2
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From the perspective of how this might seem to an employee, the part that would cause concern on an individual level and be a tough decision making call is the reference to older employees, who by reason of longevity are better compensated, but by my interpretation may be sluggish in performance, energy and vision - resting on their laurels and bench-warming. Compared with the reference to newer people receiving less compensation who have energy, enthusiasm, boldness and forward-looking vision, in the reference to cutting back on redundancies and overlaps (aka cutting the fat), it seems there would be a very tough call to make in many cases.

Who will be promoted to positions of responsibility and accountability, and who will remain in the ranks? Who will stay and who will go when heads roll? Will it be older, established employees and mid-management people who don't show vision and productivity who will either go or be passed over for leadership spots, or will it be newer people, who in spite of what may be superior performance and clarity of vision, are chosen to go or be bypassed for escalation because of lack of seniority?

If it's the former, the disgruntled will no doubt conclude that Yahoo has terminated the higher paid people and kept and/or promoted newer, lower paid people for economic reasons - to lower payroll expenses.

It'll be a tough call, but the points about redundancies are well taken enough; it's obvious even to those looking from the outside in simply as a user.
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Old 11-18-2006   #3
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Is it really layoffs though? Sounds more like a "we should" than a "we will".
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Old 11-18-2006   #4
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It's not a memo regarding fact, so no layoffs are officially forthcoming, rather it's a memo (manifesto/diatribe) regarding what should occur in the opinion of Yahoo Senior VP Brad Garlinghouse.

John Battelle has an update stating that the WSJ is updating their online-only article to state that Yahoo has appointed the article's author to head a group to study the points he outlined therein.

Assuming it does serve as a wake-up call to Yahoo - rather than a publicity nightmare and nail-in-the-coffin - this is a good thing for the company to learn from and something that has been a long time coming. They've been letting Google win in nearly every battle over at least the past three years. So many of us in the field knew it was needed, and you'd have to assume that at least 1,000 Yahoo employees knew it, that it's nice to see it come forward finally as an issue the company needs to resolve.

The publication of this can't serve the company well, but if it gets the geers turning again, it can only be a good thing to have Yahoo provide stronger competition to Google once again.
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