John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Getting Fit With Jerry Yang!

In the Grand List of Asinine Corporate Layoff Euphemisms, “getting fit” has to be one of the greatest. More so because it’s the one chosen by Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang in his latest all-hands message to employees–a missive announcing the company’s plans to bring in management consulting outfit Bain & Company to help it trim down and shape up.

as we look ahead and to position us for success in 2009, we’re continuing the work already underway to get fit as an organization: actively looking for ways to make process and structural changes to our business that will allow us to work more efficiently, with more scale. we’ve enlisted the help of Bain & Co. to work with the leadership team on identifying ways to leverage our strengths, and to improve and accelerate our performance.”

As Valleywag notes, Yang doesn’t come right out and say “layoffs” or “restructuring,” but it’s evident to anyone who’s read a “corporate rightsizing” announcement that this is what he means by “getting fit as an organization.” Unless Richard Simmons has a new, unpublicized gig at Bain.

As Boomtown noted earlier today, cuts at Yahoo are a question of “when,” not “if.” And the answer, obviously, is “soon,” though Yahoo spokesman Brad Williams insists it would be premature to speculate about layoffs at the company. Said Williams, “Yahoo has been exploring ways to streamline our processes and bring new agility and efficiency to how we work as an organization.”

Streamline? Odd choice of words for a flack spinning this story. Doesn’t he know that it’s on The Grand List of Asinine Corporate Layoff Euphemisms as well?


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik