SUNNYVALE — Yahoo is poised to lay off hundreds of workers as part of the slumping Internet icon’s effort to sharpen its focus and boost its sagging stock, according to published reports.
The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal both reported Yahoo’s cost-cutting plans Monday, citing people familiar with the matter.
Precisely how many of Yahoo’s roughly 14,000 employees will lose their jobs hasn’t been determined, the newspapers said. A final decision could be announced Jan. 29 when Yahoo executives are scheduled to review the Sunnyvale-based company’s fourth-quarter results.
The payroll purge was first reported over the weekend by blog Silicon Alley Insider. The blog said Yahoo had drawn up a list of 1,500 to 2,500 jobs that could be eliminated, but Monday’s reports indicated management doesn’t expect the cuts to be that deep.
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If several hundred employees are dumped, it will mark Yahoo’s most extensive layoffs since 2001 when the company was trying to battle back from the dot-com bust.
Unlike then, Yahoo is profitable now. But it hasn’t been making enough money to keep Wall Street happy.
Besides falling further behind Silicon Valley rival Google in the lucrative Internet search and advertising market, Yahoo also has been struggling to hold on to younger Web surfers as they spend more time on hip online hangouts like Facebook.com and MySpace.com.
The problems have slowed Yahoo’s revenue growth even as spending on online ads accelerates. That trend has devastated Yahoo’s stock, which has plunged by nearly 50% since the end of 2005. Yahoo shares finished last week at $20.78.
With shareholders clamoring for a shake-up, Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang took over as the company’s chief executive last June, replacing former Warner Bros. studio co-topper Terry Semel.