Photo: Owen Thomas, Business Insider
Yammer CEO David Sacks will shortly face a bunch of angry employees with a lot of questions about the Microsoft-owned company’s recent layoffs.TechCrunch reported Thursday that Yammer, a maker of social-collaboration tools that Microsoft acquired for $1.2 billion last year, laid off 20 employees in sales and marketing this week.
What has employees particularly upset, according to one source we spoke to, is that they read about the layoffs in the press first—and then saw that the company confirmed the layoffs to TechCrunch, before any internal announcement was made.
A Yammer employee tells us the restructuring was addressed in an announcement at 1 p.m. on Friday, days after the layoffs happened.
Yammer has, or had, a culture of “radical transparency”—news like this is supposed to be shared through posts on Yammer’s internal Yammer network.
“This isn’t Yammer anymore,” one employee put it in an internal Yammer post.
That perception of a cultural change is affecting not just employees in sales and marketing, but engineering as well. And Microsoft has been particularly keen on retaining Yammer’s engineers, to learn the secrets of how they write and ship code for Web-based software and apps so quickly.
Now those restive engineers will have a chance to vent through Yammer’s Yammer Time meeting, a periodic all-hands gathering where Sacks answers employees’ questions.
Yammer had about 100 employees in sales and marketing before the layoffs.
In a reorganization proposed by Yammer executives, Microsoft recently took over Yammer’s marketing department, as we reported last week, prompting layoffs as separate marketing functions were consolidated. Yammer’s top marketing executive, Viviana Faga, now reports to a Microsoft executive rather than to CEO David Sacks.
At the time of the deal, Microsoft said Yammer would continue to operate as its own business and report to David Sacks, albeit as part of the Microsoft Office division.
A Yammer representative did not immediately respond to our inquiry. We spoke to a Microsoft rep who declined to comment on the record beyond pointing to Yammer’s statement about the layoffs.
Update: We described the frequency of Yammer Time meetings incorrectly. They do not occur every week.
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