Yahoo set to downsize India engineering ops

  • HT Correspondents, Hindustan Times, Bengaluru/ Washington
  • Updated: Oct 08, 2014 12:44 IST

Internet search company Yahoo is consolidating its Indian operation, setting off speculation that it was laying off employees, a number variously put between 400 and 2,000.

“We are making some changes in the way we operate in Bangalore leading to consolidation of certain teams into fewer offices,” said a Yahoo India spokesperson in a statement.

But there was no mention of layoffs, which are to take effect one month from now on November 7, with those fired getting between five and 10 months salary as redundancy pay.

The layoffs follow massive pressure on CEO Marissa Mayer from large investors, such as Starboard Value, to cut Yahoo’s bloated cost structure.

Yahoo, which pioneered internet search along with some other now mostly defunct companies has attempting to revive its fortunes under Mayer, who was appointed two years ago.

NextBigWhat, a website that first reported the layoffs, said the company planned to fire 2,000 of its 2,250 employees at its Software Development Center (SDC) in Bangalore.

These firings would be the biggest by the company, which has struggled to retain its competitiveness despite a series of senior-level changes.

HT spoke to more than a dozen employees of Yahoo’s SDC in Bangalore but all of them declined to discuss the matter. The spokesperson, too, declined to say anything beyond the official statement.

TechCrunch, a website specialising in IT news, put the number of layoffs at 400, however, saying those affected are mainly working in product engineering.

It added a statement from the company: “Yahoo will continue to have a presence in India and Bangalore remains an important office.”

Yahoo is indeed consolidating its operations. It closed offices in Carslbad, California last month to move software teams closer to the company’s home base in Sunnyvale in the same state.

Yahoo recently acquired an Indian technology startup Bookpad for Rs 50 crore.

The company, that once dominated internet search, has struggled in recent years, with its investments in Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant, proving to be its best assets.

Yahoo’s last quarter results missed analyst estimates.

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