Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is expected to announce more widespread layoffs and business unit closures tomorrow after the company reports Q4 earnings, according to a report today in the Wall Street Journal. The specter of job cuts had been looking for some time, as recently as early January after the Internet giant shuttered its Yahoo Screen video hub. At the time, cuts totaling 10% of the workforce (more than 1000 employees), but WSJ reports today the number is “up to 15%.”
Business Insider reported last month that Yahoo’s media business, European operations and platforms-technology group are being targeting in any cuts. Yahoo took a $42 million writedown on original programming on Yahoo Screen including Community and Sin City Saints, it disclosed in October, which made its shuttering inevitable.
Yahoo’s shares are down fractionally today to 29.32 amid the latest report. The stock price has declined nearly 40% over the past 12 months.
Mayer hoped to appease shareholders by spinning off Yahoo’s Alibaba shares in a new company. But she had to change plans in December after the IRS refused to guarantee that the transaction would be tax-free. Yahoo shifted gears and said that it will instead spin off core businesses — a process that could take more than a year as it seeks approvals from shareholders and the SEC.
That’s led to wide speculation that Yahoo might consider an outright sale, either to private equity investors or a major tech-focused company such as Verizon or Comcast looking to expand its web presence. WSJ noted again today Verizon’s interest in making a deal, possibly to combine its assets with AOL, which the wireless company acquired last year.