back to article Yahoo! Will! Axe! One! Thousand! Workers!

Yahoo! president Sue Decker believes her company is "moving from catch-up mode to a mode of true differentiation." But its fourth quarter profits were down 23 per cent, and it will soon axe seven per cent of its work force. This afternoon, during a conference call for the benefit of industry analysts and reporters, Decker and …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Buzzword bingo

    "moving from catch-up mode to a mode of true differentiation."

    Meaning "we're trying desperately to move out of Google's shadow, and still not succeeding"

    There's enough suit-speak and doubletalk quoted here to choke a CEO.

    Every time El! Reg! Has! A! Yahoo! Story! I go back and look to see why I'm using Google instead... <clickity-click> Oh yeah, that's why...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Please, oh pretty please...

    ...can you find some excuse to do an article about Cerwin-Vega! ?

  3. Andy Worth

    "Workforce Realignment"

    God you have to love these bullshit management phrases. You can actually play a game in a management meeting to count the number of bullshit phrases used and take bets - I'd advise a drinking game, other than the fact you'd be blotto in minutes. Just call it redundancies....everyone knows that's what you mean and dressing it up with fancy names is just as pointless as putting a tutu on a bulldog. Actually I think I've seen a picture of one of those before.....

  4. Yorkie Abaper

    That! Joke's! Wearing! Thin!

    Wasn't! That! Funny! First! Time!

  5. Anonymous Coward


    "...moving from catch-up mode to a mode of true differentiation"

    Move over amanfrommars!

  6. Neil

    Why layoffs?

    It really really pisses me off that a company can make over $200m in profit, and then still say they need to get rid of people.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    1000 monkeys for sure.

    This doesn't surprise me: They have no imagination, too many managers and too few engineers, they pay peanuts and treat their staff like monkeys... of which many of them now are. And then they told us (in that corporate bullsh!t "workforce realignment" way) not to expect any worth while improvements for several years. "we're in it for the long run"... yeah right, see-ya.

    BTW the guy that said that last quote left.

  8. Anonymous Coward
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    That'll be why...

    My yahoo mail is currently down then.....

  9. Chad H.

    call me a winger...

    I know I winged about the lack of !'s last time, but I dont think its a good idea when layoffs are involved, it just seems mean spirited.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: That! Joke's! Wearing! Thin!

    No! It's! Not! Personally! I! Love! It!

  11. Spleen

    Re: Why layoffs?

    Companies are not run to give as many people a job as possible while making enough money to remain in business. A company is run to deliver a return to its shareholders. If Yahoo can make more profit by sacking 1,000 people, it is not just their right but their duty to do so. To do otherwise is to cheat the people who invested their money in the business.

    Like it or don't, it's the economic model that allows you to work in an air-conditioned building and own your own computer instead of breaking your spine on a collective farm and getting your news from Pravda.

    That said, "workforce realignment" is a really stupid phrase. Do they think they'll get more respect by not saying "redundancies"?

  12. Neil

    @ Spleen

    Thanks for the lesson in how the world works, but strangely enough I already knew that.

    What I'm getting at is that companies should have a responsibility to their staff (and the families of those staff members), who have helped make the corporation what it is. As I said, it pisses me off that making a $200m profit is not good enough and that the livelihoods of the unfortunate sacked workers must now suffer. If they were making a loss, then fair enough.

  13. Chris Walker
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    Prada? Oh... Pravda

    "Like it or don't, it's the economic model that allows you to work in an air-conditioned building and own your own computer instead of breaking your spine on a collective farm and getting your news from Pravda."

    I'm glad I don't live in The! World! Where! Only! Two! Options! Exist!

  14. Francis Boyle

    Re: That! Joke's! Wearing! Thin!

    Young people today! No sense of tradition.

  15. Ben Mathews
    Thumb Up

    @Yorkie Abaper

    It's traditional! It'd be like roast beef with no horseraddish or mash without gravy.

    Besides... wasn't there a vote at some point in favour of keeping it?

  16. Anonymous Coward

    Re: That! Joke's! Wearing! Thin!

    It's! Not! A! Joke!

    It's! An! El! Reg! Rule!

    Rule! 8! Invoked!

  17. Spleen


    If you already knew that companies exist to make money, why did you act as if they don't? Twice? Anything that Yahoo can do to make more profit, within the limit of the law, they should do. $200m profit is not good enough if you can make $220m. Or $201m. Or $200m and one cent. Companies exist to make profit, morality is for charities and individuals.

    Let's look at it from the other end. Assuming that the average US salary is $50,000 and ignoring non-wage labour costs, should Yahoo really forgo their profit in order to employ 4,000 currently unemployed people to count paperclips? Don't forget, if your answer is 'no', that's 4,000 people suffering like our 1,000 here. Perhaps zero profit is going too far. How about 2,000 people, so Yahoo still has $100m left over? 500? Shove morality into business decisions and you end up with exactly this kind of nonsense.

    The employees have already received their reward for making the company what it is: they were paid an agreed wage or salary for the amount of time they worked, and may receive redundancy payments. Of course they'll suffer. If they weren't made redundant, the shareholders would suffer. When the 1,000 workers were employed, the people who would have got the job instead had they not applied suffered. By writing posts on El Reg instead of doing volunteer work you and I cause suffering to old people or starving Africans or homeless cats or whatever. Suffering is inescapable, but it is not a zero-sum game. What history and science has taught us is that suffering is best reduced by people pursuing their own rational self-interest, and that the best way to increase it is to hand over that responsibility to someone or something else.

  18. Pheet


    The choice of economic systems isn't binary, it's not simply a choice between (neo-liberal) market capitalism and (socially totaltaristic) state capitalism.

    If you really think it's acceptable that people are made redundant through no fault of their own, while a company is in profit, then I hope you're made redundant soon and have your home repossessed.

    Surely if Yahoo! sacked just! one! of their plain-English-speaking challenged board, they'd save the same amount of money without any adverse effects...

  19. Mark Hartman

    Yahoo needs balance between profit and responsibility towards employees

    I find myself largely in agreement with Pheet (prior comment). While any company with shareholders has a fiduciary responsibility towards its owners to maximize profits, corporations have become incredibly shortsighted and frequently act with blatant disregard towards the very souls who have labored to make the company what it is, all for the sake of one-quarter returns. They need to learn to take a longer view and strike a balance between short-term profit, foresight into the company's future, and responsibility towards their own labor force.

  20. Gianni Straniero

    Re: balance between profit and responsibility towards employees

    How about the employees become shareholders? Then they can grumble/rub-hands-together simultaneously, regardless of how the company behaves.

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