Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has cut 1,000 jobs since she joined the company almost a year ago.
According to Reuters reporter Alexei Oreskovic, she’s done it “through a combination of attrition and ramped-up performance management, with staffers now getting reviewed on a quarterly basis instead of every year.”
Mayer had to make these cuts. When Mayer took over Yahoo in July 2012, it was a very bloated company. It had about 15,000 employees and another 3,000 perma-temps.
What’s interesting about these cuts is how quietly Mayer made them. What’s impressive is how she’s been able to maintain and increase employee morale, even as the cuts were underway.
Mayer’s two immediate predecessors at Yahoo had much louder plans to get rid of people.
Ex-PayPal president Scott Thompson, who was Yahoo’s CEO for a few months during the spring of 2012 before leaving amidst a resume scandal, had planned to push the company through yet another round of layoffs.
Mayer’s immediate predecessor, interim CEO Ross Levinsohn, had begun talks with other companies he hoped would lead to the sale of some of Yahoo’s assets.
When Mayer joined, both plans were still underway. She reviewed and canceled them almost immediately.
Last fall, we learned from a source that Mayer still planned to reduce Yahoo headcount, but that instead of “tell[ing] 10,000 people to go home,” she would reduce headcount “very surgically, very carefully” through sniper-style cuts.
We thought this would be a mistake.
We wrote that sniper-style layoffs can degrade morale because employees feel like they will never end, and that they will be next.
We said sometimes its better to just rip off the band-aid.
In this case, we were wrong.
By all accounts, morale at Yahoo is very strong. You can see evidence of this on employee-reviews site Glassdoor.com, where Mayer has a very high rating.
Outsiders are noticing. Oreskovic reports that new applications for Yahoo jobs are up to 10,000 a week, more than double a year ago.
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