The conventional wisdom is that firms should avoid cutting back on research and development in a downturn whenever possible. According to paidContent, Google (GOOG) and Yahoo (YHOO) aren’t following that advice:
A report by Broadpoint.AmTech analyst Benjamin Schachter indicates that both firms seem to be increasingly emphasising sales and marketing hires over research and development ones. At Google, sales and marketing openings are down 39 per cent compared to a year ago, while engineering and R&D openings are down 60 per cent (Overall, openings are down 54 per cent). And, at Yahoo, Schachter says that engineering and R&D openings are down 58 per cent, while sales and marketing listings are down 28 per cent (Overall, job postings are down 47 per cent).
Both companies continue to have substantially more openings for engineers than for sales and marketing folks. Still, the results are surprising, considering that Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz has given the strong impression that she wants to emphasise engineering hires (“We had a lot of people running around telling engineers what to do but nobody is f—-ing doing anything,” she famously said during the company’s earnings call in April).