SLIMMING DOWN

Yahoo’s headcount is back to where it was at the end of 2006

Yahoo has undergone a major workforce transformation since Marissa Mayer took over as CEO in the summer of 2012.

Since that time, more than half of the people that work at the internet company are new. And Mayer revealed in Tuesday’s earnings call that the company’s full time workforce is down to slightly under 11,000 people, the fewest since the end of 2006, and down 23% from three years ago.

A large portion of that reduction came in the first quarter of this year, when 1,100 jobs were eliminated in a series of cuts.

That wasn’t the first round of major downsizing in recent years. Within a year of Mayer’s arrival, headcount was cut close to its current level, as part of an effort announced before she started. But the payroll crept up again after a series of acquisitions and other hires.

It now looks like the company is getting serious about getting lean after that uptick:

The company has been emphasizing its headcount reductions and shift out of old businesses to investors. Mayer said on Tuesday’s call, “The work our employees are doing has shifted dramatically over the past three years, moving from legacy declining businesses to focus on new growth investments.”

In the first quarter, Mayer revealed that the company has closed 17 office locations, and reduced the number of contractors it uses by more than 2,000.

From the start of her tenure, Mayer has been encouraged to aggressively reduce headcount, only to resist for some time. She’s endured criticism from investors (paywall) over the company’s acquisition spree and the pace of its cuts. JP Morgan analysts think more are necessary, but the layoffs are reportedly damaging morale.

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