Yahoo pink slips issued, recruiters circling above

Company initiates the majority of its roughly 1,500 job cuts Wednesday, as other companies seek to snap up the newly laid-off workers.

Dawn Kawamoto Former Staff writer, CNET News
Dawn Kawamoto covered enterprise security and financial news relating to technology for CNET News.
Dawn Kawamoto
2 min read

Updated 2:43 p.m. PST with precise layoff total.

Updated at 7:23 p.m. PST with comments from Yahoo employees.

SUNNYVALE, Calif.--Yahoo began issuing pink slips Wednesday to the majority of the employees affected by its previously announced 10 percent job cut, the company confirmed.

Most of the 1,520 layoffs affect employees at Yahoo's U.S.-based locations and come from a number of areas within the company, the company said.

"There was an across-the-board review (for potential cuts) and no one area received a pass," said Brad Williams, a Yahoo spokesman, who noted Yahoo engaged in a strategic review of where it would make most sense to cut the positions.

Williams, however, declined to elaborate which areas of Yahoo's business took the greatest hits with the layoffs.

Some employees could be seen leaving Yahoo's Sunnyvale campus with duffel bags with their belongings, or large bags, others with backpacks stuffed tight with their items.

One four-year employee noted that the atmosphere this morning was extremely quiet, whereas on other days its common to find people milling about in the morning and chatting in groups. She noted her working group, or team, was intact as of noon but that layoffs would be occurring through the rest of the day.

Another employee who was recently hired indicated he felt vulnerable to the layoffs, given he had little seniority.

Yahoo is continuing to evaluate which of its operations are no longer a priority and can be shut down and which of its businesses should be placed in a maintenance mode with no further investments, Williams said.

Those decisions are anticipated to come in the following weeks and months, he added.

This latest round of layoffs is part of Yahoo's previously announced plan to reduce its annualized expenses by $400 million by the end of the year, which the company outlined in its third-quarter earnings announcement in October.

Yahoo, which has annualized expenses of $3.9 billion before the cuts, also plans to achieve its $400 million goal by consolidating facilities and moving some of its business to areas where it costs less to operate, as well as shutting down parts of its business and putting others in a maintenance-only mode.

And while Yahoo is in the workforce reduction mode, one start-up sees it as an opportunity to snap up a few talented folks.

TokBox, an online video calling company, is sending out a taco truck to Yahoo's headquarters in the afternoon, in which it plans to hand out free tacos to the recently terminated employees, as well as conduct job interviews, a company spokeswoman said.

For Yahoo, this marks the second time this year it's initiated layoffs. In February, the company cut 1,000 jobs after its fourth-quarter profit took a hit.

And with some economists expecting the recession to continue through 2009, it remains to be seen whether more layoffs will be seen at the Internet search pioneer.

CNET News' Stephen Shankland contributed to this report.