Yahoo!: Not flying, falling with style
|April 8, 2012||Posted by Alaa Jasim under technology|
Or, well not even that really. Just falling. Excuse the casual Toy Story reference there but it’s the first thing that popped into my head as I read about the slow death of this once massive company. Or at least, that’s where I believe it’s headed – a slow death, I mean, not Toy Story. Who knows? Its leadership might just turn it all around with the latest restructuring of the company, but I, along with many others, highly doubt it. After all, it was pretty obvious things were going badly wrong when key members of the company mysteriously started quitting.
So it didn’t really come as a surprise when on Wednesday Yahoo! announced that a whopping 14% of its employees would be laid off in a bid to save the company. (You know, to keep it going while it sues Facebook – oh wait, Facebook is counter-suing now isn’t it? Awkward.) CEO Scott Thompson claimed that these cuts will lead to a Yahoo! that is “smaller, nimbler, more profitable and better equipped to innovate”. But will they really? In spite of the fact Yahoo! has had periodic layoffs throughout the last few years and still managed to pull itself back up, this is the largest yet: can it survive this time around?
While axing 2,000 jobs, Yahoo! plans to find and return to its core purpose as a company, and since it gains a vast amount of its profits through advertising (more than $4bn a year) it has decided to seriously rethink its sales operations. This seems wise for a business so dependent on advertising, but Yahoo! is unused to change and I have serious doubts about its ability to cope with this massive one. That sounds like a horrible thing to say, but given the evidence of the last few years – the constant changing and the downwards spiral – the company’s lack of adaptability really seems to show through.
Profits at Yahoo! have been declining steadily for a while now, and even with new management things are still looking grim. Having been compared to the late Kodak doesn’t really help the image. Like Kodak, Yahoo! is pursuing (under the new management, I might add) a lawsuit against Facebook in a bid to “protect its intellectual property.” But really, did the company fail to see what happened to Kodak? The lawsuits didn’t work! Will Yahoo! really benefit from the same strategy? I really, really doubt it. But hey, if many, many people including myself are proven wrong then I will happily hold my hands up in shock as an amateur journalist and say, “Really?” Because let me tell you, nobody will have seen it coming.
Not going to happen, Yahoo!, seriously not going to happen. But I wish the company good luck on this ludicrous endeavour; goodness knows it will need it. Even if it won’t find it in the slightest bit useful.