Yahoo forces furlough days on employees

December 21, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
Yahoo is shutting down from December 25th to January 1st and if employees are out of vacation time, it will be an unpaid week off.

Yahoo told their employees this summer, most of the 13,200 employees around the world will be forced to take the time off.

They are ending the year the way they started it -- trying to cut costs. Yahoo executives laid off about 700 people earlier this year and got rid of some products. Now, the Sunnyvale company is shutting down operations for a week, but this move doesn't shock technology analyst Rob Enderle.

"It wasn't a big surprise. It's commonly done at technology companies this time of year," says Enderle.

There are a number of Silicon Valley companies that do this, including Apple, Hewlett Packard and Adobe.

Yahoo pointed that out in its statement saying "Shutting down during a traditionally slow week allows employees to recharge and the company to reduce operating costs for the week. It is also in line with many other companies in the technology sector as well as other industries."

Still, Yahoo is a media company and Enderle does wonder if it will be tougher for a media company to close down than a manufacturing or software business.

"Their customers don't take these next two weeks off, in fact often they're shopping or they're communicating and may actually be using the services more heavily. This is the time when Yahoo's people are off and won't be able to respond to problems. So, you're asking for a lot of trouble, during what could be a very high traffic time for them," said Enderle.

Yahoo's spokesperson says essential functions like customer support will be up and running.

A spokesman for Yahoo did not say how much the company is expecting to save.


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