Yahoo!, via an email from departing CEO Jerry Yang, told its California employees that on Wednesday, as many as 1,500 employees will be tossed, inside sources confided to FBLA.
No details were available regarding the email, but one employee who read it said Yang talked about the need to make cutbacks. This was in keeping with his statement in mid-November that Yahoo! would have to layoff as much as 10% of its global workforce. He targeted Dec. 10 as D-Day for these employees.
In her technology blog All Things Digital, Kara Swisher said Yang had told her in October that layoffs were a distinct possibility and described them as “consolidation and organizational corrections.”
“We’re asking ourselves — should we sell it or should we shut it down?” Yang said. “That is the kind of comprehensive look we are doing across the company.”
The layoffs, which could ultimately number as high as 2,000, are generally across the board, but human resources will likely take the biggest hit because their expenses are cost-based and most of their costs are staff.
Swisher said employees will be told Wednesday, but FBLA sources saw the email on Monday afternoon. Staff is supposedly allowing for a “normal seperation period,” but that could mean that employees will have to exit within a few hours of being told.
Swisher’s sources said Yahoo executives are not expecting any serious problems like extremely upset employees because the layoffs have been long in coming. Security will be present, however, at its Sunnyvale headquarters and presumably in Los Angeles.
Most employees do not know if they will be let go yet, Swisher maintained, because the cuts have not yet been made public.
Yahoo! is playing it close to the vest because entire projects might be eliminated and the secrecy allows time to restructure further if necessary.
Swisher conjectures that rumors have surfaced of whole divisions being juggled among the bigger managers presumably to stake out territory before a new CEO is installed.
Meanwhile, Yang has not officially left his slot, though he said last month that he was planning on leaving.