Don’t do it, Carol!
Yahoo’s plans for a huge new office complex in Santa Clara — revealed in images and video on SAI this morning — look really neat. Underground parking? A tiny carbon footprint? Cool!
But let’s make one thing crystal clear. There is no way CEO Carol Bartz can put these plans into action and expect to keep her job for long.
The very last thing Yahoo (YHOO) needs right now is more office space.
Yahoo laid off 2,000 people in the spring. In July, it agreed to off-load search R&D to Microsoft.
Google (GOOG), which has 7,000 more employees and $15 billion more of revenue, makes do with a complex smaller than the one Yahoo is planning for Santa Clara.
Yahoo should have cubicles to spare, but if we’re missing something, and Yahoo really needs office space, it can find plenty already constructed.
Silicon Valley is flooded with empty offices right now. At 20.5%, Valley vacancy rates are the highest they’ve been since 2003. In Sunnyvale, where Yahoo’s current headquarters is located, office space vacancy is above 53%.
We know Yahoo is aware of this trend, because it’s actually trying to sublease its Mission College Campus offices right now and can’t find any takers.
Finally, let’s all remember that building a new corporate headquaters is almost always a terrible idea. Just ask Bear Stearns, the New York Times, or [email protected] — companies which suffered immensely after moving into new HQs.
To Yahoo’s credit, a spokesperson tells us new construction plans are not set in stone. “We continue to evaluate our real estate portfolio on a worldwide basis to ensure it best supports our business.”