How Yahoo employees knew Marissa Mayer was about to fire some of them

Marissa MayerAPYahoo CEO Marissa Mayer

On Thursday, Yahoo fired somewhere between 100 to 200 of its employees.

The company is calling the cuts a “restructuring” and not a layoff.

To many Yahoo employees, it felt like a classic layoff — the kind the company has gone through many times in the past two decades.

It felt like that early in the day, says one source.

The tell-tale sign?

Ominously reserved conference rooms.

Says a source: “Employees saw it coming when on getting to work 2-3 conference rooms in every floor were suddenly reserved for HR with all previously scheduled meetings in the room cancelled.”

Another source said people were “shell-shocked.”

The latest we’re on severance packages is that canned employees will get two months severance, plus one month for signing a termination agreement, plus one month’s pay in lieu of bonuses. Effectively, that’s four months pay.

We’ve heard some severance packages are lighter than that, so it’s possible people are getting different deals.

A Yahoo spokesperson told us: “Our practice is to not comment on internal matters. We constantly make changes to better align our resources and investments with our strategic priorities.”

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is under lots of pressure to cut Yahoo costs. She has been since she took the job back in July 2012. Mayer has favoured smaller cuts, like this week’s, over broad layoffs.

Nicholas Carlson is the author of “Marissa Mayer and the Fight to Save Yahoo!”

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