Yahoo’s Call for Search Developers: Bad Timing?

In the midst of preparing for a proxy board fight brought on by Carl Icahn, the Yahoo! Search team has put out a call for new employees. A recent post on the Yahoo! Search blog implores, “We’re looking for the brightest technical minds in the business to help us build the next generation of search.”

The timing is curious. Any developer that’s paying attention must be wondering if signing on with Yahoo will ultimately have them at Microsoft. Or perhaps have them out the door in a “last hired first fired” scenario resulting from inevitable staff cuts that follow most mergers and acquisitions.

On the flip side, Yahoo is needing to show its strength more than ever if Jerry Yang and the current Board of Directors hope to come out victorious at the August 1 shareholders meeting. Then again, their call for developers may be part of the strategy. Visiting the Yahoo! Jobs page feels like a tour of the latest talking points in the quest to remain independent.

Visitors are greeted with a big image demonstrating just how many people are using Yahoo:


Not so sure the “Think Purple” appeal is going to go over well with the male-dominated pool of software developers, but to each his own.

Then the site is peppered with these gems:

“With 1 out of every 2 people online visiting Yahoo!, we need some seriously big thinkers to fill these positions. Are you up for the challenge?”

“It would take 7,000 years for all the photos on Flickr to be developed at a one-hour photo!”

What do you think of Yahoo’s recruitment of developers for its search team? Bad timing or marketing to shareholders? Sound off in the comments.

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