Must Be Good News! More Yahoo Layoffs Precede Earnings Release

Last Updated Jan 25, 2011 6:27 PM EST

Remember the rumor that Yahoo (YHOO) would lay off 5 percent of its staff? And then it only laid off 4 percent? Well, that reprieve didn't last long. Between 100 and 150 additional employees will lose their jobs -- which, oddly enough, is that extra 1 percent.

In other words: Oops.

This time the people affected are in the marketing department. And the layoffs are happening right before Yahoo's Q4 earnings announcement.

The company's numbers for last quarter were already expected to be bad. But when management actually undertakes layoffs immediately before the earnings call, rather than announcing them during, things have gone from bad to worse.

A company statement earlier today noted that the axing was to "best position Yahoo for revenue growth and margin expansion and to support our strategy to deliver differentiated products and experiences to the marketplace."

Ironically, Yahoo's own jobs board lists more than 250 position postings going back to September 16, 2009. Yes, 2009. Do you get the sense that the high tech masses aren't flocking to work at the company?

There's a reason. CEO Carol Bartz has bluffed and blustered for the last two years and delivered nothing, unless you call stagnancy good news. Her strategy has been to count on advertising and editorial content and to close or shutter services that don't play a part of her strategy.

The latter part, jettisoning what doesn't work, makes sense. However, the core of the company's strategy is essentially what it has done for quite some time -- certainly through Bartz's tenure. And, as the saying going, doing what you've done before and expecting a different outcome is the definition of something pretty foolish. Or nuts.

Related: Image: morgueFile earl53.
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    Erik Sherman is a widely published writer and editor who also does select ghosting and corporate work. The views expressed in this column belong to Sherman and do not represent the views of CBS Interactive. Follow him on Twitter at @ErikSherman or on Facebook.

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