Yahoo has hit rock bottom. They’ve now, finally, had their layoffs. Those that are left are keeping their resumes fresh and don’t expect to stay there over the long term. Everything we hear from employees boils down to this – the company is in “absolute disarray.”
Take yesterday as an example. They botch news about closing down products like Delicious. The Upcoming team is apparently wiped out, but a seemingly timestamped blog post appeared on Wednesday, after the team was gone, asking for feedback on a new design for the site. Except the blog post doesn’t have a link to the new design, and still doesn’t as of today. Probably because whoever wrote it is gone, along with the rest of the team.
And today Yahoo realized that people really care about sites like Delicious and put up a blog post saying that they’re going to sell it, not shut it down. Which is great except the Delicious blog is now offline and returns an error (we reprinted it here).
And finally, yesterday Yahoo announced internally that they would be shutting down an instant messaging product called MyM. Have you heard of it? Neither had we. Oh wait, we did—in 2008. It turns out it was an internal project that was never launched and formally shut down nearly three years ago. Apparently the executive team didn’t know that.
In May I spoke with CEO Carol Bartz on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt. The headline was the last few seconds of the talk. But that wasn’t really what was interesting about the interview. What really riled Yahoo up was when I asked if they were really even a technology company any more. I think it’s now clear to the world now that they aren’t. They’re just a nightmarish Dilbert-cartoon version of the old Yahoo, where employees fear for their jobs and stumble around the office trying to protect themselves, not build anything new and ambitious.
There is only one way a company recovers from this. They must have new leadership. And soon. Because at this point they are little more than a holding company for some lucrative Asian Internet assets. This can’t possibly be what the board of directors hoped for when they hired Bartz less than a year ago. So much has changed, so fast.