Posted tagged ‘Hi Tech’

Google Announces Job Cuts

January 15, 2009

Google has announced that the company is closing three engineering offices and cutting approximately 100 recruiters from its work force as the recession dampens hiring at the company.

From Associated Press:

“Given the state of the economy, we recognized that we needed fewer people focused on hiring,” Laszlo Bock, a Google vice president, wrote in a blog posting late Wednesday announcing the layoffs.

In a separate post, Google said it would close its engineering offices in Austin, Texas, Trondheim, Norway and Lulea, Sweden, a step the company said would affect 70 workers.

“Our strong desire is to keep as many of these 70 engineering employees at Google as possible,” wrote Google’s vice president for engineering and research, Alan Eustace.

“Our long-term goal is not to trim the number of people we have working on engineering projects or reduce our global presence, but create a smaller number of more effective engineering sites,” he added.

The cuts follow news last week of a government filing from Google showing a significant cutback in temporary employees aimed at trimming costs. The company acknowledged in November that it would be looking to reduce contract workers while retaining full-time employees. Google hasn’t said how many positions it plans to eliminate.

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft, Not Interested in Yahoo

November 7, 2008

According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer has ruled out making another bid for Internet firm Yahoo.

From the AFP:

“We made an offer, we made another offer, and it was clear that Yahoo didn’t want to sell the business to us and we moved on,” the newspaper quoted Ballmer as saying on Friday in Australia.

“We are not interested in going back and re-looking at an acquisition. I don’t know why they would be either, frankly. They turned us down at 33 dollars a share,” he added at a business luncheon in Sydney.

Yahoo was trading at 12.25 dollars shortly after the opening bell on Friday at the New York Stock Exchange, a drop of more than 12 percent.

Yahoo chief executive Jerry Yang said in San Francisco on Wednesday that Microsoft should buy his pioneering Internet firm despite the failed takeover talks between the companies earlier this year.

“To this day, I would say the best thing for Microsoft is to buy Yahoo,” Yang said during an on-stage chat with journalist John Battelle at a Web 2.0 summit on Internet Age companies and their business strategies.

Yahoo To Layoff Up to 1,500 Workers

October 22, 2008

Times are tough all over right now. Even some of the Silicon Valley’s giants are not immune to a struggling economy. Battered by plunging profits and a rough economic outlook, Yahoo announced yesterday that it will layoff at least 10% of its staff,  amounting to up to 1,500 jobs. I guess none of them will be buying the new Android phone today.

From the New York Times:

Yahoo said Tuesday that it would lay off at least 10 percent of its 15,000 workers as it tries to bring down its expenses. It said reduced marketing budgets had taken a bite out of its online advertising business, sending its net income for the third quarter tumbling by 64 percent.

The company also lowered its revenue projections for the remainder of the year and said it was too early to make forecasts for 2009.

The results come as strategic moves that Yahoo has been considering, including a search advertising partnership with its rival Google and a merger with Time Warner’s AOL unit, have gotten bogged down, leaving the company with few options but to cut expenses, analysts said.

“They just have to batten down the hatches, lighten the load and ride this thing out,” said Jeffrey Lindsay, an analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein & Company.

“Hopefully,” he added, “they will make it to the other side with their cash intact, presumably as a smaller and more efficient organization.”

From CNNMoney:

Yahoo had 15,200 employees at the end of the third quarter. The much-anticipated round of layoffs comes on the heels of another 1,000 job cuts in late January.

“We have been disciplined about balancing investments with cost management all year, and have now set in motion initiatives to reduce costs and enhance productivity,” said Yahoo co-founder and CEO Jerry Yang in a written statement.

“The steps we are taking this quarter should deliver both near-term benefits to operating cash flow, and substantially enhance the nimbleness and flexibility with which we compete over the long term,” he added.

In a conference call after the results were announced, Yang said the company was working to reduce costs in other ways than just slashing jobs, including relocating offices and consolidating real estate. “We are identifying ways we can operate more efficiently,” he said.

From USA Today:

The Silicon Valley company announced the latest round of cuts against a backdrop of poor third-quarter results and a grim economic forecast. The company’s profit tumbled 64%, to $54 million, or 4 cents per share, from $151 million, or 11 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago.

It is Yahoo’s second significant round of layoffs this year. In January, the troubled Internet giant laid off 1,000 workers, but the cuts have done little to assuage investor confidence.

Silicon Valley Feeling Effects of Tough Economic Times

October 15, 2008

It seems that although the storm clouds are hanging high over Wall Street in New York, the effects of a struggling economy are being felt all the way across the country here in the Silicon Valley.

From Newsweek:

As if waking from a dream, Silicon Valley has suddenly realized that the collapsing economy means trouble for tech companies, too. Especially at risk are the new startups created in the wake of the last dotcom crash in 2001. The signal traits of these Web 2.0 companies are cutesy logos, odd-sounding names—Twitter, Zooomr, Digg, Ning, Loopt—and flimsy business plans based on a vague notion of luring millions of people to free Web sites and someday selling advertisements. Most lose money. Some have raised enough venture-capital funding to survive for a year or more. Some may be able to raise more from venture backers, albeit at onerous terms. But many are going to flame out.

The correction is long overdue. Over the past two years, valuations on some Valley startups have soared to ridiculous levels. Facebook, the social-networking site, last year raised money at a $15 billion valuation despite being profitless and only three years old. Ning, another social-networking site, has raised $104 million and was most recently valued at $500 million. (Cofounder Marc Andreessen, a Valley veteran, said earlier this year he was raising money to ride out a coming “nuclear winter.”) Slide, a maker of software widgets that let Facebook users “Poke” and “SuperPoke” each other, earlier this year raised $50 million at a $550 million valuation. Just as in the original dotcom boom of the late 1990s, Valley types claimed these valuations were perfectly reasonable, and insisted there was no bubble. Those who have raised war chests remain upbeat. “Not to sound obnoxious, but this downturn could be good for us,” says Max Levchin, founder and CEO of Slide, in San Francisco. “Some of our competitors are going to go out of business.”

Public markets are practically shut down to new offerings. Even the chance of being acquired has grown slimmer. Without the prospect of a hefty “liquidity event,” as it’s called in the Valley, a lot of these former high fliers don’t seem so sexy anymore. Facebook attracted top talent with the promise of a public stock offering that would create loads of overnight millionaires (and a few overnight billionaires) the way Google did when it went public in 2004. Now Facebook employees are jumping ship, including Dustin Moskovitz, a company cofounder.