updated 10:15 am EDT, Wed April 4, 2012
Yahoo shakes up staff in mass departures
Yahoo confirmed rumors of large-scale layoffs by dropping 2,000 workers. Focusing mostly on the product division, the exits would include some immediate layoffs as well as gradual transitions away. The positions were being dropped to return to a "core purpose" of "users and advertisers," CEO Scott Thompson said.
The exact focuses of the cuts haven't been detailed. Yahoo expected to save a total of $375 million after factoring in as much as $145 million in pre-tax charges for severance deals. Yahoo planned to give an outline of its "future direction" after the cuts with its results reporting on April 17.
Yahoo has been struggling for years after failing to mount a significant challenge to Google in search, which ultimately led to its deal with Microsoft to use Bing search in key areas. Many have also criticized Yahoo for doing relatively little even among relatively successful divisions, like Flickr. The new cuts could both help maintain basic profitability as well as make it more nimble in those key fields where it chooses to participate.
Thompson has been more aggressive than his predecessors in remaking the company. He has also drawn controversy for reviving a lawsuit strategy not used by Yahoo for several years after the company sued Facebook and broke an informal rule in Silicon Valley that has kept web firms from suing each other.