Yahoo Imposes Weeklong Shutdown In Most Offices Worldwide Over Holidays

December 22, 2009 0

Sunnyvale, California — Internet search pioneer Yahoo Inc., in a cost-cutting move, is closing down its offices worldwide from Christmas through New Year’s Day, except for “essential functions,” its first ever, as the Internet company searching new avenues to cut costs during the recession, reports WSJ.

This is the first time Yahoo has ordered most of its 13,200 employees to utilize vacation time or unpaid leave during the holidays, according to reliable sources. Although it has carried out pretty much similar move last year, but it was for U.S. offices only. The story offers instances of other big tech/media companies in the Valley: both Adobe and Apple have similar closures.

Yahoo spokeswoman Dana Lengkeek said the decision is the Sunnyvale, Calif., company’s first compulsory shutdown world-wide, although Yahoo has earlier encouraged U.S. employees to take the week off in the past.

Closing down “during a traditionally sluggish week allows employees to recharge, and the company to reduce operating costs for the week,” said Ms. Lengkeek. U.S. employees can use vacation time or take unpaid leave for the days not covered in the holiday schedule, she added. Outside the U.S., “time off will be paid consistent with local standards and laws.”

Yahoo is not the only Silicon Valley company that will be closing most of its offices from Dec. 25 to Jan. 1. Other Silicon Valley companies routinely close during the holiday season. As they have in the past, Adobe Systems Inc., similarly plans to shut down from Dec. 24 to Jan 1., said Donna Morris, senior vice president for human resources at Adobe, in a statement.

Executives at Yahoo have been on an aggressive cost-cutting campaign since the start of the year, which included the elimination of about 2,000 jobs since September 2008, along with shutting down duplicative services.

Yahoo ended the third quarter of 2009 with 13,200 employees. Revenue for the year at the Internet search company will decline for the first time since 2001.

Suppose, for the week days of Dec 28, 29, 30, 31, U.S. employees will have to take them out of their vacation time if they want to get paid for it, or otherwise would be unpaid. For other countries,  “time off will be paid consistent with local standards and laws,” Yahoo spokesperson said.

Ms. Lengkeek said “essential services” like customer support, will be working during the shutdown and that the company told employees about the shutdown this summer.