Yahoo readies for more lay offs

BURBANK — Yahoo officials announced this week that thousands of its workers will lose their jobs and employees in the Burbank office are waiting to see if they will be among the 1,520 to be laid off.

Yahoo company officials said they are still parsing through global employment status to determine where the cuts will take place.

“We haven’t announced any specific information,” said Yahoo spokeswoman Kim Rubey, adding that Burbank’s Yahoo Search Marketing campus could be affected.

The announcement from Yahoo officials Tuesday coincided with extremely weak financial figures from the company’s third quarter in which revenues dropped by 1% from last year at the same point and operating income plummeted 53% from 2007, according to figures released by the company.

To stave off further economic loss, officials said that 10% of Yahoo’s global workforce of 15,200 employees would be slashed during this year’s fourth quarter to save the company an estimated $400 million in labor associated costs.

What that means for the nearly 1,700 workers at Burbank’s Yahoo campus remains to be seen.

As of Wednesday, Yahoo has not filed federal and state mandated notices, called the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification, required of companies that intend to lay off more than 50 workers at once, a spokesperson with the state’s Employment Development Department said.

Thirty days before they announce company specific layoffs, Yahoo must file the notices — as they did in April when 111 jobs were cut from the Burbank campus, which was established in 2006 to provide search products and services to advertisers.

April’s layoffs mirrored hundreds of other jobs cuts at Yahoo sites in Northern and Southern California after the company rejected a $47.5-billion takeover bid from Microsoft.

At the time, Microsoft offered to buy the company for about $30 per share. On Wednesday, Yahoo’s stock price finished at $12.39 per share, its third lowest point since April 2003.

Though the future of Yahoo’s workforce in Burbank remains murky, city leaders are still concerned about what layoffs could mean for the region.

“I think it’s a concern to our community,” Mayor Dave Golonski said. “Obviously with the other news, with Mervyns closing and Shoe Pavilion and Linens-n-Things closing, the challenges are there.

“Layoffs will have an impact to the people in this city. We’re going to have to be careful and be conservative.”

Golonski referred to a report he requested at Tuesday’s City Council meeting to detail Burbank’s budget projections for next year and proposals to scale down spending if necessary.

He does not foresee any fiscal surprises and maintains that Burbank is still in a relatively strong financial position.

“But that doesn’t mean there wont be significant impacts to people who lose their jobs in layoffs,” he said. “Right now we have to plan for the worst and hope for the best.”

 JEREMY OBERSTEIN covers business, politics and the foothills. He may be reached at (818) 637-3215 or by e-mail at

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