Yahoo has refused to comment, but multiple reports are claiming Yahoo is on the verge of laying off 600 to 700 employees. If true, the cutbacks would eliminate between four and five percent of Yahoo’s total remaining workforce, which totaled a bit over 14,000 employees at the end of September.
The Wall Street Journal’s All Things D reports the layoffs could come as soon as today and will mostly impact U.S. employees in the company’s product division. The New York Times says the cuts will come from consumers and advertising services. Reuters reports similar figures.
The move seems a rather harsh one on Yahoo’s part, landing just two weeks before Christmas. According to the reports, employees will be informed and be immediately escorted from Yahoo premises. The cuts will reportedly mostly hit in the products group led by Blake Irving, the former Microsoft executive hired by Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz earlier this year.
The layoffs are likely part of Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz’s belt-tightening plans at Yahoo, intended to reduce the company’s operating expenses as it works to expand its online advertising business. Reports that Yahoo would be laying off employees began circulating in early November; at the time, Yahoo said reports it was considering jettisoning up to 20 percent of its staff were inaccurate.