Saturday, November 18, 2006

Yahoo "peanut butter" memo

Paul Kedrosky posts a brutally critical leaked internal memo from Yahoo. Don't miss it.

Some selected excerpts:
We lack a focused, cohesive vision for our company .... We lack clarity of ownership and accountability.

We end up with competing (or redundant) initiatives ...
  • YME vs. Musicmatch
  • Flickr vs. Photos
  • YMG video vs. Search video
  • Deli.cio.us vs. myweb
  • Messenger and plug-ins vs. Sidebar and widgets
  • Social media vs. 360 and Groups
  • Front page vs. YMG
  • Global strategy from BU'vs. Global strategy from Int'l
We have lost our passion to win. Far too many employees are "phoning" it in.

We need to boldly and definitively declare what we are and what we are not .... Focus the vision .... Restore accountability .... Blow up the matrix .... Kill the redundancies ... [Stop] competing against each other.

Change is needed and it is needed soon. We can be a stronger and faster company.
See also my earlier post, "Yahoo's troubles", where I said, "The business is advertising ... To fail to compete on advertising is to fail."

Update: Dare Obasanjo points out:
Yahoo! executives are contemplating firing one in five Yahoo! employees ... Layoffs are a demoralizing affair and often don't eliminate the right people especially since the really smart people know to desert a sinking ship instead of hanging around to see if they draw the short straw.
Google is a mere 5.8 miles down the road. It may be hard for Yahoo to retain their best at this time of instability.

3 comments:

dhoom said...

One can see that lots of projects are going to be canned in yhoo. Also the same memo talks about laying off 20% of teh staff.

Kevin said...

totally agree. If they can't get their ad strategy together then heads should roll and they need to start making acquisition.

It's not too late but they need to be more aggressive.

jcricket73 said...

Good point about the layoffs (that they're like a "bomb" that go off, with lots of collateral damage).

That said, if revenue growth is stagnant or if revenue is shrinking, it'll probably be inevitable that Yahoo lays people off. None of these dot-com companies are immune to the reality that you can't just hire your way to success.

Speaking of that, both Microsoft and Amazon have done a ton of hiring over the past 5 years. When are the next big rounds of layoffs for them?