Financial Concerns For Yahoo!

According to the Wall Street Jornal today…

Yahoo Inc. will require its U.S. workers to take vacation or unpaid time off
the week between Christmas and New Year’s, in a move that could signal
concern about hitting some financial goals for the year.

The Sunnyvale, Calif., Internet company said in an
email sent to employees that it will close its U.S. offices for that
week. "This will allow many U.S. [employees] to enjoy guilt-free time
off while helping Yahoo reduce unused vacation time," wrote Libby
Sartain, Yahoo senior vice president for human resources, in an email
Thursday to Yahoo workers.

"This is a decision that we have been considering for
some time, and is consistent with the practices of many other companies
of our scale," said a Yahoo spokeswoman. The Yahoo move was mentioned
in Silicon Valley blog Valleywag last week.

Requiring workers to take time off at the end of the
year can reduce a company’s liability for accrued vacation and
temporarily cut some staff and facility expenses.

Yahoo hasn’t used the practice — at least not in
recent years — say people familiar with the matter. Yahoo had 10,500
employees world-wide as of the end of June.

The holiday office-closing announcement followed
public comments Tuesday by Yahoo executives that it expects to post
revenue for the third quarter at the lower end of its projections, amid
their concerns about slowing growth in spending by some online

"Typically when companies do this, it’s not a positive
sign," said Scott Kessler, an analyst at Standard & Poor’s in New
York. "Whether it’s a bad thing or not, it’s unclear yet because we
don’t know all the details," he added.

Mr. Kessler predicted any positive impact of the move
on Yahoo’s finances would be minimal, saying it would depend on factors
such as how many workers would have taken that week off anyway.

Written by Kevin J. Delaney

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