Yahoo laid off "about 650" people this morning -- roughly 4 percent of the company's entire workforce of 14,000 -- according to a local report from KGO-TV in San Francisco. Estimates were that between 650 and 700 people will be let go before the end of the day.
According to Kara Swisher of All Things Digital, the layoffs are mainly coming from the U.S. and Yahoo's product division, headed by Blake Irving. Early reports indicate that Flickr is one area today that has been hit.
Silicon Alley Insider, as it did two years ago, presented live updates. Here are a few of the early comments for the sad day in Sunnyvale, California:
"Two of my co-workers just got pulled in and got the ax in our small team. More may be coming... unable to work really. He's packing and must be out of here soon. Sad is that immediate manager didn't deliver the news, but his manager. Methinks immediate manager has no balls!!!"
"my significant other, who works at yahoo, just went mysteriously offline. this is the third christmas in a row that i'm tracking every move wondering if the ax will drop. this is ridiculously stressful. it's clear that yahoo doesn't think at all about the people who are left behind to deal with the mess the layoffs create in terms of morale."
It's amazing how stupidly this process has been conducted by the company. The whole world knows that this layoff will occur, except the company's top managers who never know or comment about anything. Once this information has leaked to the press, they should fire the people as soon as possible... But instead, they preferred to pretend that nothing is happening and the employees just froze, worried about their jobs or if they will spend Christmas with a job or not. Yahoo definitely does not have the right timing.
There's also a thread on Quora, "Which startups/companies are interested in hiring laid-off Yahoo employees in the San Francisco Bay Area?"
TechCrunch also provided coverage of the layoffs, which were expected to be completed by early afternoon.
UPDATE: A Yahoo spokesperson confirmed staff reductions, telling TechCrunch:
Today's personnel changes are part of our ongoing strategy to best position Yahoo! for revenue growth and margin expansion and to support our strategy to deliver differentiated products to the marketplace. We'll continue to hire on a global basis to support our key priorities.
Yahoo! is grateful for the important contributions made by the employees affected by this reduction. We are offering severance packages and outplacement services to these employees.