Following Layoffs, Yahoo Cuts Products: MyBlogLog, Delicious, Yahoo! Buzz
At an all-hands meeting for the Yahoo product team following a round of layoffs yesterday that significantly impacted that group, Chief Product Officer Blake Irving showed off a slide of plans to “sunset” eight products and consolidate others.
Products on a list to be sunsetted–whatever that means–include MyBlogLog, Yahoo! Picks, AltaVista, Yahoo! Bookmarks, Yahoo! Buzz and Delicious. Some of those properties came from acquisitions and others were internally generated.
The news of the Yahoo plans first came out via a screenshot of the Webcast posted on Twitter by Eric Marcoullier that included a slide with a list of impacted products next to an image of Irving, along with EVP of the Americas Ross Levinsohn, announcing the news.
Marcoullier was founder of MyBlogLog, which created one of the products being shut down. (MyBlogLog was bought by Yahoo in 2007 and has been pretty much neglected ever since.)
The slide also shows plans to merge additional products, including Fire Eagle and Yahoo People Search, and make features out of many others, including Yahoo! Alerts and Yahoo! Calendar. (If you have better eyes than I do, please help identify some of those logos in the comments.)
Marcoullier is no longer at Yahoo, although the validity of his Webcast screenshot was confirmed, after he was quickly criticized on Twitter by various current Yahoo employees who didn’t appreciate it getting out, including Irving himself, who insinuated he would fire whoever leaked the Webcast. (Click on image here to enlarge.)
While the layoffs and shutdowns obviously indicate a de-emphasis of technology products by Yahoo, they aren’t necessarily unwarranted. Some of these products were the same as those mentioned on then-SVP Brad Garlinghouse’s infamous Peanut Butter Memo way back in 2006 as candidates for streamlining.
Update 12:21 p.m. PT: Yahoo’s statement on the matter just came through:
Part of our organizational streamlining involves cutting our investment in underperforming or off-strategy products to put better focus on our core strengths and fund new innovation in the next year and beyond. We continuously evaluate and prioritize our portfolio of products and services, and do plan to shut down some products in the coming months such as Yahoo! Buzz, our Traffic APIs, and others. We will communicate specific plans when appropriate.
In response to a follow-up question about Delicious, which seems to be the “sunsetted” product people are most upset about, the spokeswoman replied:
“We continue to operate Delicious today, and will communicate specific details when appropriate.”