Earlier this month, Yahoo announced that it would lay off 2000 workers, around 14% of its workforce, as the organisation restructures itself following a difficult couple of years in which it has, to put it mildly, lost its way.
Its current CEO, Scott Thompson, seems to understand the scale of the challenge that the company faces, and in his first full-quarter earnings call since becoming its chief executive, he outlined plans to help Yahoo find its feet and move towards a period of growth. As TechCrunch reported, the key to success, as he sees it, will be ‘focus’.
“Yahoo has been doing way too much for too long and was only doing a few things really well,” he said. Indeed, that’s been a major criticism across tech media and the wider web, as customers, investors and industry observers – as well as the company itself, it seems – have increasingly struggled to understand and define exactly what role the company fills in an ever more crowded market.
Despite making changes since taking the company’s reins, Thompson remains unsatisfied with the results so far. The next big step will be to shut down or “transition” around 50 Yahoo properties, services and brands, so that the company can focus around some of its more successful products, such as Sports, Finance and Yahoo Mail.
While he acknowledges that shutting some of these services might impact short-term revenue, he believes that in the longer term, margins across the company as a whole will improve. And while Yahoo may be consolidating its products around a much smaller group of core properties, Thompson was keen to point out that this won’t rule out launching new services in the future. The immediate focus, however, will be on improving ‘core experiences’.
“I’m convinced we don’t need to reinvent who we are,” he added. Perhaps not, but for now, it seems that too much of the market still doesn’t really know who Yahoo is, beyond its funky purple branding.