Yahoo layoffs on deck: Thompson eyes analytics bet?

Cut spending in some areas and then aim that investment at businesses that can generate revenue growth. The problem? Yahoo hasn't outlined a growth plan yet.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Yahoo is planning layoffs that could number in the thousands, according to AllThingsD. What's unclear is what bets new CEO Scott Thompson will make with the cost savings.

Kara Swisher reports that new CEO Scott Thompson is planning to lay off workers in public relations, marketing, research and "marginal businesses."

The goal for Yahoo is relatively simple. Cut spending in some areas and then aim that investment at businesses that can generate revenue growth. The problem? Thompson hasn't set a plan yet. Perhaps these layoffs will come with more color on Yahoo's strategic direction.

On Yahoo's fourth quarter conference call, Thompson indicated change was coming, but details were sparse. Thompson talked about the balance between media and technology.

Thompson said:

We will focus on generating real, sustainable growth and value creation. I feel great about all that, but I'm also very clear that we have a lot of work to do. It’s still early, and I don't intend to lay out any detailed strategy until I fully assess our direction...We'll prioritize the most important things, move aggressively, and we'll move fast. We have to get great, innovative products that matter into the market, absorb feedback quickly from our customers and grab those products constantly.

Thompson also has talked up analytics. On Jan. 4, he said:

I think this is very important for this business and a number of others, is that the data that these Internet businesses create and the analytical ability to understand what that data tells you, and the ability to use technology and analytics to drive a better outcome for your customers is in almost every business I’m familiar with, today, online and offline is becoming more and more critical. And I only get a glimpse at this point of how much data all of these wonderful businesses that Yahoo has. I feel certain that that wealth of data is going to be exploitable for next-generation products, next-generation experiences, and for super competitive capabilities in the display space in other space databases that are in marketing and advertising.

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