Yahoo! mulling over layoffs of up to 20% of its workforce

Big RIFs from a company that should be doing much, much better

Silicon Alley Insider is reporting that Yahoo! is set to cut 1,500 to 2,500 jobs (up to 20% of its 12,500-strong workforce). A list of those to go has allegedly been compiled and turned into management:

The "list" is reportedly the product of a Q4 project in which all group heads were asked to look at redundancies and create their own lists of potential cuts. All the group-level lists have now been turned in to corporate.

Some are suggesting that the cuts will primarily hit Yahoo!'s European operations (arguably the most expensive place on the planet to cut jobs due to severance packages).

What seems reasonably clear is that Yahoo! needs to improve its focus. While Google has exploding growth it's primarily coming from its core search business.

Yahoo!, by contrast, is all over the map in its product focus. Yes, Google is all over the map in its different initiatives, but it seems better able to put real resources behind those few that actually pay the bills. Yahoo! acts a bit like Google in its attempt to be all things to all people...but resources all these disparate projects as if it really were.

At any rate, layoffs are never pleasant but these should help Yahoo! to regain its focus. That will be a good thing for the employees who are left and for Yahoo!'s ability to grow again.

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About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.

     

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