Yahoo hasn't been able to do anything right lately. Why should Wednesday's job cuts be any different?
Mass layoffs are always traumatic. But Yahoo's human-resources department is not approaching this with any particular grace.
December 10 has long been rumored as the date for the layoffs. (We first heard in October.) Nevertheless, some Yahoo employees were in the dark — until they logged on to the Yahoo intranet and noticed that the HR department had booked every single conference room at the company's Sunnyvale, Calif. headquarters. Others are hoping to be laid off, figuring anything's better than Yahoo.
There are requests for the little people to be in the office by 9 a.m. If they can't, they must be available by cell for the next 6 hours. Nobody sure what that all means. Are people going to get in early, pretend to do work all day, hoping not to get that knock on the door or phone call from the manager? After waiting for months, are people going to have to sweat it for hours and hours waiting to see if they will be tossed overboard?
Who will get the ax: No one's safe. Upper management at the company insisted that departments across the board make personnel cuts. But finance will be hard hit; a source inside that group says 50 percent of the workforce could go. Likewise HR, since fewer employees require fewer administrators. Kara Swisher, the AllThingsD blogger, thinks entire projects might be eliminated. Yahoo currently lists more than 100 websites and services. Does it really need Yahoo Pets, Yahoo Avatars, Yahoo Ecards? Let me put it this way: If it's a Yahoo site you've never heard of, it may well be on the chopping block.
Will this fix Yahoo? No. Sadly, Yahoo needs to fire another 2,000 people or so to get to a sensible size. If only outgoing CEO Jerry Yang, the indecisive blitherer, had made some hard decisions in his first 100 days on the job, like he promised to do last summer, these Yahoos might not be having to find new jobs in the worst recession in living memory.