Are they sure the economy is doing better? Walmart shuts down franchises. I was in Florida last month and walked by 3 businesses within three blocks that were there last year and gone this year. Now, one of the Internet’s most respected institutions is on a massive layoff spree.
Yahoo is expected to cut 15% of it’s work force. That includes approximately 9,000 employees and 1,000 contractors. This is part of an aggressive plan for the company to simplify itself. They’re closing five major offices overseas. Yahoo expects this move to save them over $400 million. The news is hitting Yahoo’s stock as well. They lost nearly two percent. The irony here is that stocks briefly went up when the phrase, “strategic alternative” hit the floor. Some tech insiders speculate a potential corporate buyer altogether. Yahoo CEO Marissa Meyer expresses optimism. She stated, “Today, we’re announcing a strategic plan that we strongly believe will enable us to accelerate Yahoo’s transformation”. This transformation includes trimming down some services and consolidating others, like their Digital Magazines. There’s talk about getting rid of Yahoo Games and Yahoo Smart TV. Yahoo Screen went bye-bye in December. Since Yahoo has decreased in some global markets, it’s going to focus on potentially profitable ones, like the US, UK, Canada and Taiwan. In fact, the offices closing are in countries like Brazil, Spain and Mexico.
Yahoo’s problems are the dubious gifts that just keep on giving. Shareholders and other Yahoo leaders are leaving Mayer’s tenure. It almost seems like Google/Alphabet has stolen all of Yahoo’s thunder. But two things about this disturb me, make that three. Nearly 10,000 jobs will be gone. That means 10,000 people, livelihoods, households and families will be on the line now. The second is Yahoo’s trimming or shutting down of services. Could they not compete with the other big players, especially in the smart TV game? The third is the speculation some have of it’s…ahem…’strategic alternative’. I hope it isn’t, but could this be a code word for buyout or merger?