News of the layoffs at Yahoo! has now hit the presses. A couple of the folks who've been indicated as laid off are people I know are great employees either via professional interaction or by reputation. The list of people who fit this bill so far are Susan Mernitt, Bradley Horowitz, Salim Ismail and Randy Farmer. Salim used to run Yahoo's "incubation" wing so this is a pretty big loss. It is particularly interesting that he volunteered to leave the company which may be a coincidence or could imply that some of the other news about Yahoo! has motivated some employees to seek employment elsewhere. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the coming months.
Randy Farmer is also a surprise given that he pretty much confirmed that he was working on Jerry Yang's secret plan for a Yahoo comeback which included
- Rethinking the Yahoo homepage
- Consolidating Yahoo's plethora of social networks
- Opening up Yahoo to third parties with a consistent platform similar to Facebook's
- Revamping Yahoo's network infrastructure
If Yahoo! is reducing headcount by letting go of folks working on various next generation projects, this can't bode well for the future of the company given that success on the Web depends on constant innovation.
PS: To any ex-Yahoo's out there, if the kind of problems described in this post sound interesting to you, we're always hiring. Give me a holler. :)