A leaked memo from Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz confirms layoffs began this week. Yahoo was not the only tech company with announced layoffs: Nokia is also cutting staff in Finland.
It's a cold, cold winter in Sunnyvale, Calif.,
Internet "destination" Yahoo-as it calls itself in its company overview-has a
bit of bad news for 4 percent of its staff (about 600 employees) this holiday
season: Sorry, but your services at Yahoo are no longer necessary. Yahoo
employees, however, should not be overly surprised as the company has trimmed
labor off the books four times in three years.
"This was a tough call, but a necessary one," wrote Carol Bartz, CEO of
Yahoo, in an employee memo. "We need to make these changes now to ensure that
Products is structured and running the way we want as 2011 begins. And that
means we need fewer Yahoos in some areas, and different types of Yahoos in
Bartz contends in the memo that the company overall is doing well in terms
of margins and stable growth in revenue, but that they found regional
redundancies in certain underperforming and non-core products and are focused
on their strengths in e-mail. search, the homepage, mobile, content and
"You've heard me say before that I didn't come to cut Yahoo to greatness,"
Bartz wrote. "That's still true. This decision is about more than cost savings.
The changes are meant to get us into a position so we can invest more in the
kind of products and technology we know we need to be successful."
One product not discussed in the memo was Flickr-the image- and
photo-sharing Website that Yahoo owns. Flickr has a loyal following of users,
some who are displeased with Yahoo's seeming lack of attention to the product and
how it could be used to bolster Yahoo's standing as social-networking sites
like Facebook and others compile more and more image-sharing capabilities.
One user, photographer Thomas Hawk, is downright angry over Bartz's handling
of the company and her 2010 compensation of $47.2 million that tops Standard
& Poor's list of highest-paid CEOs for the year. Hawk has some
suggestions for Bartz in a blog
post he wrote entitled "An Open Letter to Carol Bartz, CEO, Yahoo Inc.":
"Do you even realize what you have with Flickr? It's the largest well
organized library of images in the world. Not only that, it has a very strong
social-networking component. In fact, Flickr may represent (if managed
correctly) your single biggest opportunity to launch a much larger and more
lucrative social network (and stock photography agency as well). Have you spent
any time in any Flickr groups? They are addicting. People live in them. They
play games in them... And if you took the time to really explore the social
side of Flickr, you'd learn this, and figure out a way to grow it."
Separately, mobile-device maker Nokia laid off 800 employees in its home
country of Finland,
bringing its total number of cuts to 1,800 people globally. These cuts have
been planned since October.
Nokia's E7 smartphone is
now on hold until early next year.