Battered by slow revenue growth and the popularity of social networking Web sites, Yahoo Inc. is poised to lay off hundreds of workers, according to published reports.
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The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal have both reported on the slumping Internet icon’s cost-cutting plans, 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.
Being in the tech industry I have been amazed at how much Yahoo has gone down hill. It’s not so much that they are losing in the product race, but rather the quality of products they have out there. Almost all Yahoo products have flaws to them and they just seem to not care about it.
Also Yahoo seemed to be consumed by greed for a long time. Case in point – Yahoo’s chat service. For years they ran it as a free for all service where anything could go. They had user created rooms with such titles as “daddy rapes his daughter” and “old men with pre-teen girls”. While the very thought of these rooms were disturbing, what was equally troubling was the fact that these rooms had advertisements attached to them by some big corporations such as State Farm and Pepsi. To further compound the problems Yahoo would never take action to shut these rooms down. That lead to a revolt by advertisers, which was spearheaded by concerned citizens. Ultimately it lead to the end of the Yahoo user rooms, but that was due to a legal agreement with New York.
I know this is just one small part of Yahoo, but it exemplifies the overall attitude I have observed over the years I cited another example a couple months ago of Yahoo allowing child porn on their photo sharing site, Flickr, once again showing that decency was trumped by profits. Compare this to Google. The child porn on Flickr was reported to Yahoo numerous times and they send out a standard reply email which basically says “well don’t go to that page”. On YouTube if you report a video as being pornography they have it removed within a couple of hours. They take decency much more seriously.
While I’m not saying that porn is illegal or should be done away with, I am pointing out a simple fact there. Child pornography is illegal and Yahoo doesn’t seem to care that it sits on their servers. Regular pornography, which is legal, doesn’t stand a chance on Google – they will remove it.
Overall this sounds more like poor management on Yahoo’s part. They are using number crunchers instead of actual tech people to make their business decisions and now their employees are paying for it with their jobs. Of course while these people loose their jobs, we will be left wondering how much money Yahoo’s CEO will get this year. That’s a common theme in any of these cases.