Yahoo! Inc. Ceo Marissa Mayer is exploring strategic alternatives for some of the company’s beleaguered Web businesses while slashing staff by about 15 percent and exiting product lines, giving directly into demands by restive shareholders displeased by her failure to enhance growth.
The Sunnyvale, California-based company will fire employees (about 1,700 staff, according to The Associated Press), shutter more offices and devote more resources to increasing engagement with users, Yahoo said Tuesday inside a statement. Mayer’s plan was unveiled as the company reported fourth-quarter sales and profit that exceeded analysts’ estimates, offering a bright spot to shareholders who have seen the stock drop 35 per cent in the past year.
The overhaul probably represents Mayer’s last chance to persuade restless shareholders she’s figured out how you can revive Yahoo’s growth after 3 1/2 many years of futility.
Activist investors for example Starboard Value LP have been with leadership changes or perhaps an outright sale of Yahoo’s main business. Mayer has been attempting to steer the net portal through one of the most challenging chapters in its a lot more than 20-year history. As newer Internet search and content hubs for example Facebook Inc. and Google have lured advertisers, Yahoo has failed to keep pace, and purchasers have slipped since reaching an optimum in 2008. Late last year Mayer abandoned an agenda to spin off valuable Asian assets to shareholders, heightening criticism about her strategy.
“It’s difficult to turn around Internet companies,” said Shyam Patil, an analyst at Susquehanna International Group LLP. “Either you’re kind of in the sweet spot, or you’re not.”
Shares of Yahoo were little changed in extended trading. The stock fell 1.7 percent to US$29.08 at Tuesday’s close in New York, bringing the decline for that year to 13 per cent.
Yahoo Inc to cut 15% of their workforce, close several business units: reportYahoo Inc to shut offices in Mexico, Argentina as pressure mounts on CEO Marissa MayerYahoo Inc’s brain drain shows a loss of religion inside the company
Yahoo, which in fact had 10,700 employees by September, had already disclosed plans to close some offices, including sites in Mexico and Argentina.
For your fourth quarter, the organization reported sales, excluding revenue distributed to partner websites, of US$1 billion. That compares with analysts’ average estimates of US$948.1 million, based on data published by Bloomberg. Excluding some costs, per-share profit was 13 cents a share, compared with the analysts’ average projection of 12 cents.
The report may come as activists step up pressure on the company after Yahoo reversed course in December on intends to extricate itself from a multibillion-dollar stake in Chinese e- commerce company Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., amid rising concerns about the potential goverment tax bill. It is considering bundling the remainder of its assets right into a separate, standalone company that might be spun off instead – moving that may take more than a year to complete.
Activist Starboard Value, which first raised concerns about Yahoo in 2014, says that’s too much time for shareholders to wait – and it has urged a change of the company’s management and board, saying that “significant changes” are needed. The remarks, made recently, were the best indication the investment firm is preparing for a proxy battle targeted at unseating Yahoo directors. Starboard, which owned less than 1 percent from the company by the 3rd quarter, has suggested an overhaul of management and potentially sales from the main Web business.
Although Mayer and also the board downplayed any drastic scenarios this past year, they might be starting to warm up to those possibilities. Yahoo is considering an outright sale of its business, people familiar with the problem said last month. Still, Yahoo hasn’t concluded that it must sell and hasn’t hired a bank to operate an official process or contacted potential customers, the folks said.
Since taking the helm this year, Mayer has poured money into improving products and landing media-content deals, while expanding services through acquisitions. She’s sought to focus on boosting revenue from the category she calls Mavens, which includes ads through mobile, video, native and social platforms. Yet many of her efforts have stumbled – and even prior to the announcements today, Mayer had cut the workforce by more than 30 per cent and closed down some offices in futile tries to jump- start profit and sales growth. At approximately US$27 billion, the business’s market value is not even half what it really was in 2005.
It’s been a tumultuous decade. Since 2006, the company continues to be underneath the leadership of seven permanent or interim CEOs, including one who was fired having a phone call and the other who resigned after failingto correct errors in the credentials. Yahoo has been the prospective of countless activists in the past, including Daniel Loeb’s Third Point LLC earlier this decade, and Carl Icahn in 2008 amid an unsuccessful buyout by Microsoft Corp.
While Mayer is again trimming staff and looking to renew faith within the company, she’s lost several top executives recently. In December, the organization said Senior V . p . Prashant Fuloria, whose duties included product and engineering for advertising products, was leaving. Other departures last year include Jacqueline Reses, Yahoo’s chief development officer, and Kathy Savitt, who was simply chief marketing officer.
Bloomberg News, with files from The Associated Press