Yahoo cutting one in ten of workforce as turnaround plan stutters
Yahoo is planning job cuts of about 10% of its workforce, according to a report, as it responds to shareholders’ frustration with a turnaround plan that has failed to jolt revenues.
The company is working on a plan that would reduce its employee count by more than 1,000 and could begin as early as this month Yahoo’s media business, European operations, and its platform technology group could be particularly hit, said the report. The report, combined with a rocky stock market, sent Yahoo shares down 5%, to $30.54, in afternoon trading.
Yahoo spokeswoman Rebecca Neufeld said the company does not comment on “rumours and speculation — and that’s all this is.”
Earlier Yahoo had said in a statement that it would “share additional plans for a more focused Yahoo on or before” its fourth-quarter earnings call this month.
Shares of Yahoo YHOO lost one-third of their value last year as it become clear that a spinoff of its lucrative Alibaba stake could be hit by a tax penalty. That stake, worth about $30 billion, represented nearly all the market value of Yahoo – signalling investors thought its search and content businesses were worth little to nothing.
Under pressure by activist investor Starboard Value to make big changes, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and the board run by Maynard Webb announced a new plan – that they would consider selling or spinning off Yahoo’s core web assets, and keep the Alibaba stake. But some investors warned such a plan could take too long, if it ever materialised, opening the company up to a distracting proxy contest.
Starboard, which is pushing for a taxable sale of assets rather than a spinoff, claims Yahoo has stymied prospective buyers for some of its Web properties. Further closings and layoffs are considered a likely part of any restructuring.
Via a series of mostly small acquisitions under Mayer’s tenure, Yahoo’s workforce has grown to about 10,000. But its revenue and market share in search and display ads has stagnated, or worse.
Mayer has vowed to “narrow our strategy and focus on newer products.” And Yahoo said it had shut down its video hub, Yahoo Screen.