Yesterday Yahoo India laid off over half of its editorial team based in Bangalore, MediaNama has learned from multiple, reliable sources. On being contacted with a request for verification, a Yahoo spokesperson told MediaNama that “Our practice is to not comment on internal matters. We constantly make changes to better align our resources and investments with our strategic priorities.” This is essentially the same statement given to Wall Street Journal, which indicates that 100-200 jobs are being cut globally by the company, and mentions that they impact 35% of the editorial staff in Canada.
The reasons given for the eight people laid off were global reorganization and restructuring. According to the source we spoke to, Yahoo India’s editorial team size has been reduced from 14 to 6. At one time, Yahoo India had an editorial team of 32, we are told.
What one source found surprising was that Yahoo has laid of three of four members from its sports editorial team at the peak of the ICC Cricket World Cup, a significant revenue earning opportunity for the company. It’s worth noting that at one point in time Yahoo India had an exclusive three year deal with the ICC which included the World Cup, and had launched a cricket focused site.
One source told us Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s focus is only on the US. “Marissa’s entire focus is the US. She doesn’t care what happens in the regional markets,” a source said. “If they lose resources in the regional markets, that’s okay for them. Regional markets don’t have as much revenue as the US market.”
Last year, Yahoo had laid off around 300 employees from its software engineering department in Bangalore, India, because Mayer wanted to consolidate development operations in the US. At that time, it had paid about 5 months salary as a severance package to the laid off employees. This time, we have learned from sources that the severance package received by the employees is different for everyone. Around two years ago, Yahoo had around 2500 people working with its SDC in Bangalore, where it had two offices. That was brought down to 600. At the beginning of last year, Yahoo had three offices in Bangalore, out of which two were shut.
Readers will remember that Yahoo India’s managing editor Prem Panicker had resigned in October last year, after five years with the company. Alan Soon, the then Managing Editor for Southeast Asia, was slated to take on a larger role as the Managing Editor for India and Southeast Asia.