back to article Layoffs! Lawsuits! Losses! ... Yahoo! is! in! an! L! of! a! mess!

Yahoo! is seeing matters go from bad to worse this week as the Purple Palace says it will be cutting 15 per cent of its staff and looking at possible sell-offs, all while writing off $4.4bn of business value. The former Jerry and David's Guide to the World Wide Web said that it would be axing staff and dropping products as …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wait, what?

    Yahoo! does email and search? Seriously?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wait, what?

      Yes, and not very good at either.

      After Ms Mayer's 'revamp' of Yahoo Mail, there's been much more spam. The filters don't even work most of the time.

      And ads are plastered on the inbox page, which require a browser plugin (Webmail Ad Blocker) to properly remove.

      Can't wait for her to get sacked and be replaced by some competent person.

      1. Fihart

        Re: Wait, what?

        As long term user I've seen a reliable and easy to use mail service revamped to be less easy (tho some improvements too) and, recently, unreliable.

        Gimmicky interface redesign, pointlessly redesigned logo, slowdowns, outages. Probably time for me to pull the plug on Yahoo before they do it themselves.

        1. JamesPond

          Re: Wait, what?

          Also as a long time user of Yahoo, I've now had enough and am moving all my accounts to gmail. Out of the frying pan etc. but as I was an original hotmail user who moved to Yahoo when MS took over, what other choices are there?

          1. x 7

            Re: Wait, what?

            "Out of the frying pan etc. but as I was an original hotmail user who moved to Yahoo when MS took over, what other choices are there?"

            You could try AOL

            (snigger in background as he types.......)

          2. paulf Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: Wait, what?

            Depends if you want to pay for your email or hand over your email for advertising purposes?

            I ditched Gmail and Yahoo as I'd had enough of the miserable buggy UI and platform (the latter), and creepy monitoring/tracking of my messages (both in spades). I moved to a paid for IMAP provider - $40/year for 15GB storage, calendar etc. I've raised 2 support tickets in the last 18 months and both times I've ended up with a reply from one of the main Devs who personally fixed the problem (low priority corner cases) within a few days.

            Contrast with Yahoo where the "Reply-to" field bug I reported about 3 years ago is still there despite two support tickets and multiple promises to fix it but only when they had time. If you're still with Yahoo make sure you have an exit plan pretty quick - if they sell up or shut down you could find yourself summarily without your email address.

          3. noj

            Re: Wait, what?

            @JamesPond: There are many other options. Try a search on "email service comparison" to see some choices. You can add words like private, free, secure, client to narrow your search. I did the same and moved from a free service to a paid one to take advantage of some special features important to me.

            NOTE: This is not a rant for or against gmail or any other email service. Simply a response to your saying "...what other choices are there?"

            1. Tom 13

              @noj

              Even if it were a rant, I don't think we could fault you for it.

              In fact, after reading this article and making my first post, I'm going to seriously think about picking up an account I own again. I had one back in the days of dial up because it came with the dial up service. Maybe it's time for me to start breaking the Google chains.

          4. Tom 13

            Re: what other choices are there?

            The one we've all been avoiding: paying a reasonable rate for your email account.

            There are some companies out there that sell them. Install Thunderbird and they'll offer you at least two choices.

      2. Tom 13

        Re: there's been much more spam.

        I didn't notice. But then my Yahoo account is the one I use for "email address is required" whenever I'm completing one of those registration forms and I expect it will generate spam.

        So I suppose you could say I'm part of their problem.

    2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  2. rtb61

    When you get an M&M to run you business don't be surprised when you get this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q33drZUXSzY. I bet someone's business cred will go all melty but sure as fuck, some other idiot will hire it. So will this M&M get a gold coat, the golden parachute as she wanders off into the sunset with the jobs of thousands of yahooers, you betcha, feel sorry for all the rest though and the idiots that hired it, you bet they'll get the same gold plated coating on the way out.

    Google has to be laughing up there sleeves at this, a reminder the M&M did not just leave but was demoted and was facing more, as a noodge out of the door(biggest skill, taking credit for other people's work, a skill she attempted to set in place from day one at Yahoo by forcing all staff back into the office so she could listen in).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Mayer was the Vice President of Google Product Search until the end of 2010, when she was demoted..."

      I never knew, ideal CEO for yahoo then.

      1. Charles Manning

        ""Mayer was the Vice President of Google Product Search until the end of 2010, when she was demoted..."

        Coincidentally.... having been the girlfriend of Google's Larry Page - a fact recently sanitised off her Wikipedia page.

  3. Bota
    FAIL

    But we need more women in tech!

    1. Holleritho Silver badge

      She's hardly in tech

      And apparently never has been. She does marketing and executive suite stuff for tech companies. And had the bad judgment to move to Yahoo.

  4. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Headmaster

    "$4.968bn (up from 2014's $4.618bn). So sales remained flat over the year"

    Eh, that's up 8% YoY, which most corporations would be happy with. Yahoo! does need some major help though.

  5. Alan Brown Silver badge

    There's also the issue

    Of Yahoo being the only major still allowing ivory trading on its network.

    Stock can't fall far enough for a company which is profiting from enabling CITES breaches.....

  6. Jack of Shadows Silver badge

    I guess my Vizio goes to being a dumb TV, not that it gets turned on much. Come to think on it, I don't use those features at all, so it's not like I'd notice except for this article.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Search

    Focus on Yahoo search? NOW?

    They owned Search at one time and were blown out of the water, because everyone else does it better.

    That sounds more like a delusion than a plan.

    I'm glad I sold all my Yahoo and put it in oil.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But! what! will! El! Reg! do! for! a! new! running! gag!?

    Bad enough that Lawsuits in Motion became mere boring BlackBerry

  9. Pliny the Whiner

    I think Yahoo's greatest liability today used to be its greatest asset back when they started: the idiotic name of "Yahoo!" an idiom meaning hayseed, rube, hick, goatfucker, cornholer, etc., etc., or the sound made by a person so described when finally achieving orgasm. ( I'm not suggesting that the name Google is in some way superior, but the difference is that Google crawls up your ass and tries to stay there, whether you want it there or not. Like Windows 10. Yahoo was never similarly aggressive, at least to my recollection.)

    I suppose you can blame the person at the top, but I'm trying to think of anyone on Earth who could come in and, say, make America Online "great" again. Same rock being pushed up the same mountain. Sometimes, dead people don't know they're dead.

    1. DainB Bronze badge

      For educated people it is mostly associated with human-like race from Gulliver's Travels.

      1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

        For educated people it is mostly associated with human-like race from Gulliver's Travels.

        But then, educated people don't use Yahoo.

        1. LDS Silver badge

          Re: For educated people it is mostly associated with human-like race from Gulliver's Travels.

          Especially since in Gulliver Yahoos are not educated people, although they could look like a lot of actual Intenet users... Houyhnhnms are, but calling a site like that wouldn't have helped to make it widely known and used. But Gulliver wasn't the source for the Yahoo! name.

          1. x 7

            Re: For educated people it is mostly associated with human-like race from Gulliver's Travels.

            the Yahoos were supposedly based on William Dampier's descriptions of Australian aboriginies

    2. Tom 13

      Only a crass and bigoted bumpkin would have missed the '!' at the end (particularly given El Reg's headlines on all articles related to the company), which clearly marks its inspiration as an exclamative of celebration.

    3. earl grey Silver badge
      Coat

      so you're saying google is an ass-weasel?

      Ok, getting my coat...

  10. Turtle

    Impairment. Yeah, Right.

    "Yahoo! is reporting a $4.43bn goodwill impairment (read: write-off) on the value of its US, Canada, Latin America, Europe and Tumblr business units."

    Implying that there was $4.43bn of goodwill to begin with. Ah, the sweet, sweet smell of the notional value of imaginary merchandise! Who the fuck has any goodwill towards Yahoo, except maybe Mrs Marissa Mayer's Mom, for giving her daughter a truckload of money to drive Yahoo into the ground.

    1. breakfast

      Re: Impairment. Yeah, Right.

      In fairness, Yahoo was making it's way briskly groundwards before she joined. She may not have done much to rescue it, but she probably hasn't done anything to accelerate the plummet either.

      Regardless of the deckchair arrangement, it remains the Titanic.

  11. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Buzzword Bingo

    What I hear is buzzword bingo for "we are going out business loudly and noisily" and it's time to pick over the carcass while there is something for the vultures to eat.

    1. xperroni
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Buzzword Bingo

      And not a moment too soon, either.

      To be fair, they did try to out-Google Google, by peddling their API's to third-party developers and supporting developer tools like YUI. Too little, too late, I'm afraid.

      With their mail and search services reduced to hollow shells (the later quite literally), no foothold in the developer community and no idea of how to monetize – or indeed keep – their membership, what's left for them, save to gradually whittle down and die? It would be better to cut the losses now and let out whatever bits and pieces still have some survival chance.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Buzzword Bingo

      it's time to pick over the carcass while there is something for the vultures to eat.

      They'll need to not be too choosy. But all in all, Yahoo is a heroic story of the Triumph Of The Agents (as in agency theory, not The Matrix).

      By the time the sad and tatty SS Yahoo dips below the waves for the last time (2017?), they will have been in business for twenty one years, and never paid a cent in dividend, they'll have burned through (at a guess) $60bn of revenue, and at the end of it all there will be nothing to show for it, other than some very rich ex-directors.

      Done right, that could have been the mother of all parties.

  12. John Geek
    Mushroom

    So Ms. Mayer is taking a 15% cut of her salary and all other bennies, right?

    hahaahah, I know, I just had to ask.

    Eff You, Yahoo and everything you've done since you escaped from the Stanford Dorm you were created in.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I haven't used my yahoo account since they abandoned their 30Mb Yahoo-drive. But it is a bit late for them to revive that one. Search income declining with less users and no new successful products.

    How to get that beast rolling again? Hmmmmm. I guess I understand as little about it as their CEO.

  14. andrewj

    Every time a company tries to cut it's way to profit you know it's time to stick a fork in it.

    Doubtless Mayer will ultimately get a massive payday for her abject failure.

  15. Michael Habel Silver badge

    I wonder if they still have any sellers remorse for not having took Balmer up on his deal back in 2007? For me that moment of refusal marked the death of Yahoo for me. Granted it would have likely marked the death of Yahoo anyway. As the only people more clueless at running a Search Engine then Yahoo, would have to be MicroSoft. But, the difference now, it would have been their problem.

  16. David Roberts Silver badge

    Loss?

    Looks like they turned a reasonable profit into a notional loss by writing down some phantom money.

    I assume that all this does is reduce their notional capital worth in funny money so that next year's revenue looks like a better return on capital and changes some arbitrary stock market metrics.

    Pre-tax loss can be useful for hanging onto real cash as well.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Worked for this lot once. I doubt there will be much of value in the patents - the systems were bodged together from a lot of Apache HTTPD modules badly written in C, with some PHP splattered on top later on. They did pioneer the "cheap commodity PC server" approach though, with racks upon racks of completely independent FreeBSD servers that could easily be replaced when they broke down.

    Sad to hear that the Milan office is shutting down though. We went on a "developer conference" there one year (actually an almighty piss up). They managed to persuade the notoriously anti-social David Filo (the co-founder along with Jerry Yang) to attend. He was shocked at the Italian approach to the working day, and looked decidedly uncomfortable at the dinner we attended - he's a tee-total vegetarian, so it probably wasn't a good idea to book a restaurant that specialises in pork dishes and the most liberal spirit measures I've ever seen.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Pint

      Ah, Italian business trips. You virtually have to beg your hosts to be allowed to visit the factory, or have a short meeting in the office. But restaurants and bars, oh yes. Plenty of those.

      The saying from Wall Street that "lunch is for wimps" is wrong. Lunch is forever!

  18. Andy Non
    FAIL

    Surprised they haven't gone to the wall by now

    I used to have several Yahoo email accounts back in the day. Then they "revamped" the webmail and made it virtually unusable on slow internet connections. Then they introduced the requirement to register a mobile phone number with accounts (no way). The final nail came when I changed ISP and Yahoo refused to let me login to my remaining email account, insisting I log into it from my usual IP address. Bye bye Yahoo.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yahoo? wow, that's a blast from the past.

    Hey, what about IE? Who remembers that?

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Didn't MicroSoft just recently do he right thing, and drove a huge stake though whatever was left of Infection Exploiter? Cause I thought thing that comes with Win X was the new thing. Yeah sorry my apologies for not keeping up with MicroSoft's newest nomenclatures.

  20. FuzzyTheBear
    Coat

    Folding

    Yahoo is going the way of Excite and so many others.Down the drain and it will accelerate as it spins.

    Why ? They offer nothing unique.

    Just my two cents worth ..

    1. wayne 8

      Re: Excite, still going.

      Excite is still out there. My son made a comment "excite.com still exists?" when I mentioned excite.com the other day.

      The Excite email continues to work with no added hassles.

      If I had a TV the TV listings would still be useful.

      Yahoo! not so much. Though I will look up a stock quote on Finance occassionally.

  21. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

    Good to see some energy

    "in parallel to the execution of the management plan,"

    I applaud the enthusiastic approach, but wouldn't a simple "resignation of the management" plan be sufficient?

  22. Jonjonz

    Yahoo = Sears

    Yahoo like Sears was one of the first in their businesses, online info and mail order.

    Like Sears Yahoo has descended into a death spiral caused by too many VPs stabbing each other in the back to get ahead following the lead of the CEO scum bag who has the nerve to accept billions in bonuses while giving thousands of employees the shaft.

    Train wreck in motion.

  23. Tom 13

    entertain "strategic alternative" offers, possibly the sale of the core business

    This is one of those nonsense statements that always amazes me. How the hell do you make money for your shareholders by selling off the core business?

    Yet we're expected to believe the brightest minds in the company came up with this idea.

  24. King Jack
    Facepalm

    Cool previews

    Yahoo bought them, then shut down development and support. Now they are crying that they have to sack people to stay afloat. Why buy something unique, then bin it? I hope Yahoo dies a slow death.

  25. Oh Homer
    Meh

    "Goodwill impairment"

    I once had a bike with one of those.

    It impaired my goodwill straight into the back of a lorry.

  26. pixelgeek

    More worried about Flickr actually

    I used this extensively for yeas now. Probably the best thing they do. If Flickr goes down the gurgler I will be royally pissed.

    The only reason I actually have a Yahoo mail account is because one day they forced us to create one so we could continue using Flickr... grrrr

  27. x 7

    However you look at it, the companies revenues and management need spicing up a bit. Perhaps my comment in another thread about Ms Mayer and the application of ginger that got censored wasn't so far from the truth.

    However you look at it, the management collectively need something shoving up their arses to get their brains in gear

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