Yahoo! played the role of the Grinch this week, confirming that it has let go more than 600 employees, or about 4 percent of its workforce. This marks the fourth time in three years that Yahoo! has reduced its workforce in an attempt to curb costs and expand its operating profit margins.
"Today's personnel changes are part of our ongoing strategy to best position Yahoo! for revenue growth and margin expansion and to support our strategy to deliver differentiated products to the marketplace," a statement from the company reads.
Yahoo! has been on a downward spiral for years, and the company's stock price is currently exactly half what it was when Microsoft made its historic $47.5 billion buyout offer in 2008. According to online metrics firms, Yahoo! has lost users to Facebook and Twitter, and its remaining users—still some 600 million strong—spend a lot less time on the site than they used to.
Although Yahoo! didn't specify where the cuts came from, numerous online reports state they came from Yahoo!'s struggling consumer products group, which is run by former Microsoftie Blake Irving. He pledged to "bring the cool back to Yahoo!" when he joined the company earlier this year.
Yahoo!'s continued struggles have caused many to question the leadership of CEO Carol Bartz. But Bartz says it's too soon to judge her because the company was left in such dire straits by its previous CEO, co-founder Jerry Yang. But one thing is pretty clear: Yahoo! would have been better off if Yang had simply accepted Microsoft's 2008 buyout offer.