Historically, big tech companies start building new gigantic corporate campus instead right before they implode. Oh, look: Yahoo's drawing up plans for a 42-acre project and hadn't laying off thousands of workers.
Yahoo's proposed new HQ in the Silicon Valley town of Santa Clara would be big enough to house 7,000 additional staff, according to former Valleywag Nicholas Carlson, at Business Insider. The company continues to try and push permits for the plan through the city's approval process despite plenty of available office space in existing Silicon Valley buildings.
We've seen this movie before. It does not end well:
- Fox Interactive's $350 million new HQ near Los Angeles was said to be the biggest area development deal in 25 years. Amid layoffs, Fox cancelled its move as the building was being finished.
- Internet conglomerate IAC finished its new Gotham headquarters in early 2007. Within months came a plan to break up the company.
- Amid the dot-com boom, network technology company Cisco Systems planned a controversial Silicon Valley megacampus for 20,000 workers. In late 2001 it scaled that back to plans for an office that could — maybe! — hold 3,000 to 9,000 workers.
- Handheld device maker Palm had dot-com-era plans for a 39-acre campus; the collateral alone on the project was $238 million. By mid-2001 Palm announced it would sell that land.
- From late 2000 to late 2001, USA Today reported, "Intel, Excite At Home and Inktomi... shelved or cut back plans for new plants or offices."
It's worth noting that Yahoo's plans have been underway since three years ago, when the company bought the land in question for $112 million. Seasoned real estate developers know it often makes more sense to obtain city approvals before canceling a project, since the approvals can usually be transferred to a new owner, making the underlying land more valuable. So Bartz is not necessarily at fault for Yahoo's hubristic plans. But that doesn't make her any less likely to be the victim of what they portend.