Reshuffle at Yahoo, Microsoft shuffles on layoffs

February 23, 2009

Rumors of a Yahoo management reshuffling, two newspaper publisher bankruptcies and a bit of PR unsavvy on Microsoft’s part do not make for a quiet weekend. Although not exactly high-octane breaking news, the stuff kept happening in dribs and drabs throughout the weekend, leading me to update my Facebook status thus: “Anupreeta would have liked at least 30 percent more weekend.” But so it goes.

On Friday night, All Things Digital’s Kara Swisher reported that a major Yahoo management reorganization was underway, and could come as early as this week. The Wall Street Journal, which shares an owner — News Corp’s Dow Jones — with All Things D, followed with its own story a day later.

Then, Microsoft — a big employer of foreign workers which took some heat last month from politicians for announcing plans to lay off 5,000 people — dug its heels deeper into the mess. It seems the software giant overpaid some laid-off workers because of an accounting error, and now wants the money back. Yikes. Does Microsoft need to do more damage control than this?

Meanwhile, newspaper publishers continue to collapse like dominoes. On Saturday, Journal Register said it had sought bankruptcy protection, becoming the latest U.S. newspaper company to buckle under a load of debt and falling ad sales. Close on its heels, the Philadelphia Inquirer owner announced it too was filing for Chapter 11 — sending out the press release bang in the middle of Oscars.

Keep an eye on:

  • Will Rupert Murdoch’s love of newspapers drag his entire empire down? Maybe, but that isn’t stopping the mogul from looking for alliances to save on costs. (The New York Times)
  • Falling DVD sales could hurt the fortunes of media conglomerates. (Financial Times)
  • Social networks are a telco’s best friend. (Reuters)

(Photo: Reuters)

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