Yahoo Layoff Rumors Abound, as Does Freelance Hiring

Realignment is the way of the Web portal. In some areas of Yahoo's business there will be cost cutting via layoffs, but there is also a major announcement on content expansion.

Rumor has it that Yahoo is cutting anywhere from 10 to 20 percent of its consumer products division which could be between 650 and 2,500 individuals by the end of the year, according to anonymously sourced reports from TechCrunch and AllThingsDigital. Yahoo disputed the numbers will be as high as 20 percent, but declined to elaborate any further on layoff details.

"Yahoo is always evaluating expenses to align with the company's financial goals," said a Yahoo spokesperson in a statement. "However, a 20 percent reduction in Yahoo's workforce across the board is misleading and inaccurate."

TechCrunch is sticking by its figures from its sources, and based on Yahoo's statement, some workforce reduction plans have not been denied. In its most recent third-quarter earnings report, Yahoo was upbeat about its realignment plans operating margins and revenue streams.

"We've made substantial progress this year toward executing our strategies for enhancing profitability and resuming revenue growth. Margins are expanding; owned and operated display advertising is up 18% so far this year; product rollouts are accelerating thanks to modernization of our underlying platforms; and we continue to implement our search alliance with Microsoft on schedule," said CEO Carol Bartz in a statement. "We've disposed of non-core assets while making strategic acquisitions like Associated Content and Citizen Sports, and we've developed key partnerships with Facebook, Twitter, and Zynga to enhance the Yahoo experience for our 600 million users."

While layoffs appear to be looming, the 14,000-plus employee Web portal is also ratcheting up its crowd-sourcing content with the goal of cranking out more than 2,000 pieces of original content a day by using more than 400,000 freelance workers. The Yahoo Contributor Network as it will be known was born out of the purchase of Associated Content in May this year.

"With the launch of the Yahoo Contributor Network, our contributors now have an unprecedented opportunity for exposure and distribution across Yahoo's portfolio," said Luke Beatty, vice president and general manager, Yahoo in a statement. "Associated Content has been known for maintaining the industry's largest contributor base, and with the launch of the Yahoo Contributor Network, we've added scale and reach that sets us apart from any other crowd-sourced media platform."

Google recently announced pay raises of 10 percent for all employees, but fired the employee who revealed that information to the press.