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 HorowitzSalim 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. :) 


Wednesday, February 13, 2008 4:21:44 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
I'm still not quite sure what MS wanted out of a Yahoo! acquisition, but if they wanted talent, Yahoo is giving them a chance at that for a whole lot less than $44 billion.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008 5:41:48 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
The thing is Yahoo! without its engineering talent is like a body without its soul. Yea you got the sites but so what? For $50B MS bought a shell withit its very best brains going to Google. Google is the real winner.
Isaac Yuen
Wednesday, February 13, 2008 7:31:57 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
I made similar arguments in the post just before MS made the offer.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008 9:05:14 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)

The way I read Salim Ismail's "Hoo-Ya - I take the package" post ( he left voluntarily with a severance package.

Thursday, February 14, 2008 3:10:05 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
If these people wanted to work for MS they wouldn't be taking packages voluntarily :-)
Thursday, February 14, 2008 7:50:21 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Yahoo without technology = AOL, but without the great dial-up AOL had when it matter.

I.e., Yahoo without Microsoft = dead.

Saturday, February 16, 2008 6:28:21 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Google is in very good position on this, they are going to take cream out of cake even they are not in the party...
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