Jerry Yang's Casual Note To Employees Thrown Overboard

The outgoing CEO and co-founder of Yahoo Jerry Yang seems to be taking the new round of layoffs rather casually, if his letter to them at Yahoo Anecdotal is any indication.

The entry titled "Tough times" was written in all lower case - written in a casual tone despite the seriousness of the occasion to those leaving. Obviously "saying goodbye to colleagues and friends is never easy" but perhaps it deserves more than what looks like a casual note jotted off in a hurry.

A sale of Yahoo at $31 may have led to as many layoffs, but the departing employees would have more money than the 4 months severance ValleyWag reports to fall back on. A sentence in the About page for Yahoo Anecdotal - though not directed at this situation - has a resonance I can't get out of my head.

"Much as we'd love to help resolve your concern, support issues are way out of our realm."

Combine that with the slides ValleyWag acquired for layoff instructions to managers and one sees the big business actions of this declining corporation.


The Twitters of the employees as they have been given the news and their friends reactions have made this day seem like an industry tragedy - which in the short term it definitely is. Hopefully though some of these people go on to create new companies and products that build on its continued future.

About the author

Frank Watson has been involved with the Web since it started. For the past five years, he headed SEM for FXCM -- at one time one of the top 25 spenders with AdWords. He has worked with most of the major analytics companies and pioneered the ability to tie online marketing with offline conversion.

He has now started his own marketing agency, Kangamurra Media. This new venture will keep him busy when he is not editing the Search Engine Watch forums, blogging at a number of authoritative sites, and developing some interesting online community sites.

He was one of the first 100 AdWords Professionals, a Yahoo and Overture Ambassador, and a member or mod of many of the industry forums. He is also on the Click Quality Council and has worked hard to diminish click fraud.