AFTER RELEASING its predicted disappointing third quarter financial results yesterday, Yahoo CEO, Jerry Yang sent his staff a memo, confirming the firm would be laying off 10 per cent of employees to help save $400 million in annual costs.
The irritatingly completely-in-lower-case memo was published in full by TechCrunch, and began by noting that Yahoo, as a firm, had “been through a tremendously challenging year”.
Whilst Yahoo’s Q3 results showed sales rising by three per cent to $1.33 billion, profits took a dive of 64 per cent from $151.3 million to a paltry $54.3 million.
Noting that the firm’s goal was to reduce its current $3.9 billion annualised cost run rate by over $400 million before the end of 2008, Yang noted “We are targeting non-headcount expenses wherever possible, such as facilities and outside services”. But he then stuck in the knife, adding “however, because compensation expenses are the single largest part of our costs, we anticipate a reduction of at least 10 per cent of our global workforce by year-end”.
This means about 1,500 Yahoo-ers can expect an unpleasant meeting with their supervisor within the next few weeks. Yang patronisingly noted “i understand that hearing this news now creates uncertainty, but we are moving ahead in a way that balances speed with a clear focus on accomplishing what is necessary to set the organization up for long term success”. He also noted that layoffs were always difficult and that the decision wasn’t taken lightly. Consolation indeed, no one is firing him apparently.
We also find it a bit insulting that something as painful and “difficult” as layoffs was announced in a memo completely devoid of capital letters. Most writing software automatically capitalises words at the beginning of sentences, so good old Jerry must have gone to quite a bit of trouble changing them all back to lower case. Good to see what’s really important to him in times of crisis.
We’d suggest hiring a secretary, but, well, with the layoffs supposedly helping Yahoo to “better deal with the macroeconomic downturn”, Jerry and his little “i” will just have to keep writing his own memos. µ
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