Yahoo's video chief leaves; evaluation system reportedly leads to 600+ firings

Yahoo (YHOO +2.2%) video content chief Erin McPherson has left the company to join major YouTube content provider Maker Studios. McPherson's departure comes nearly four months after media chief Mickie Rosen left (no replacement has been named yet), and at a time when the company is searching for ways to grow its video content base (and thus its video ad inventory) following the French government's scuttling of the Dailymotion acquisition.

Separately, Kara Swisher reports a new employee evaluation system implemented by Marissa Mayer has led to the firing of 600+ workers in recent weeks (5% of Yahoo's workforce), and has upset managers who believe they're forced to give a portion of their staff poor reviews.

Though Mayer denies such ratings are required, Swisher states "dozens of perturbed Yahoos are sending me emails complaining that managers perceive it as required." Much of the blame is directed at HR chief Jackie Reses, whom Mayer hired a year ago from P-E firm Apax Partners.

Swisher also reports Mayer, occasionally criticized for micromanaging, was "very involved" in creating the new ratings system, sometimes even "calibrating the final rating details for employees, the recommended raise, bonus and equity awards and a short summary of accomplishments."

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Comments (17)
  • Michael Fitzsimmons
    , contributor
    Comments (11653) | Send Message
    Hopefully Yahoo laid off the people responsible for changing Yahoo mail from being one of the fastest email tools into the absolute slowest! I mean I know all these companies are data mining our emails now, but jeeez, how long should it take to bring up an email tool, click on a new msg in your inbox, and be able to read it. 30 seconds? 1 minute? 90 seconds?? Hopefully someone at Yahoo will read this message and fix their mailtool, but they certainly haven't responded to the hundreds of feedback comments left by customers....
    11 Nov 2013, 01:45 PM Reply Like
  • Derek A. Barrett
    , contributor
    Comments (3554) | Send Message
    You're right, it is pretty slow, however my bigger problem with it is it is constantly being hacked by phishing attacks. I get scared even replying to a Yahoo email address for fear of getting my workstation or email infected.
    11 Nov 2013, 01:48 PM Reply Like
  • cereal
    , contributor
    Comments (1733) | Send Message
 doesn't data mine, its ads are also light (text ads, no heavy flash ads)
    11 Nov 2013, 03:48 PM Reply Like
  • Tricky
    , contributor
    Comments (2523) | Send Message
    Indeed, Yahoo email now stinks, in multiple ways.
    11 Nov 2013, 04:24 PM Reply Like
  • u1w1e
    , contributor
    Comments (101) | Send Message
    Right, its the 600 underperformers (who just got fired) responsibility, that yahoos mail and portal systems are messed up. Don't blame Mayer - she is just brilliant. She is even from Google.
    12 Nov 2013, 04:47 PM Reply Like
  • Derek A. Barrett
    , contributor
    Comments (3554) | Send Message
    Again, Dr. Deming mentions the annual review as one of the 7 Deadly Sins.


    If it resembles the stack-ranking at Microsoft this is a horrible decision.


    You can still bring accountability without this outdated review system:

    11 Nov 2013, 01:47 PM Reply Like
  • Deja Vu
    , contributor
    Comments (1825) | Send Message
    Yahoo gets Microsofted, which was GEed which was Welched. Incredible the harm one man can cause, to so many companies and so many people.
    11 Nov 2013, 01:53 PM Reply Like
  • Tricky
    , contributor
    Comments (2523) | Send Message
    Neutron Marissa? ;-)
    11 Nov 2013, 06:22 PM Reply Like
  • nickkoto
    , contributor
    Comments (91) | Send Message
    Long YHOO, torn on whether to stick with it or sell. On the one hand, pretty much every Yahoo website has become a huge steaming turd that I find less compelling to use on a daily basis, on the other hand the Alibaba IPO should be coming soon, and it's still not adequately priced in.
    11 Nov 2013, 02:05 PM Reply Like
  • topbeancounter
    , contributor
    Comments (127) | Send Message
    She is finally behaving like the glorified secretary I think she was and is. I'm not sure that she is qualified to be hired by our little business, but I would take a look at her resume and see. We do have a back office position open.
    11 Nov 2013, 02:25 PM Reply Like
  • sop2510
    , contributor
    Comments (5) | Send Message
    One of my previous employers used a rating system that evaluated people on performance and potential. It's ultimate result was to get rid of high-performing older workers who were then replaced by short-term contractors. The net benefit was to replace higher salaried and less healthy workers with low-cost replacements who drew no benefits.
    11 Nov 2013, 05:34 PM Reply Like
  • lostgringos
    , contributor
    Comments (3) | Send Message
    Its been some time since I've wanted to see someone fail as much as I want to see her crash and burn.
    11 Nov 2013, 05:35 PM Reply Like
  • Jassem el Mahmoud
    , contributor
    Comments (33) | Send Message
    Well it's about time that Yahoo moves to an industry standard performance rating system with their staff. Now managers are obviously forced to differentiate the performance and contributions of their people and need to take consequences if the performance is too low.
    We heard the complains about ending the working from home policy and at the end only the people who were getting a free ride have been complaining. The high performers have been happy about this change. The new performance - system will help the company to move up the average performance up and will reward high performers.


    And at the end that's what you want, but reporting it in this way doesn't sell so good for Kara Swisher reports.
    11 Nov 2013, 07:12 PM Reply Like
  • dublzoute
    , contributor
    Comments (9) | Send Message
    let's talk about yahoo finance which is on a downward spiral. features malfunction at the rate of about 2 per month and not repaired. today the feedback dialogue goes on the fritz. after one fills out comments and hits enter "sorry" not working. that is one sure way to reduce customer complaints. what's going on ? have they all been drafted to work on the aha site?
    12 Nov 2013, 10:37 AM Reply Like
  • Tricky
    , contributor
    Comments (2523) | Send Message
    Microsoft just announced today that it is dropping the controversial forced ranking system
    12 Nov 2013, 07:42 PM Reply Like
  • Derek A. Barrett
    , contributor
    Comments (3554) | Send Message


    Last obstacle in MSFT's transformation and company is set to soar.


    Great job Microsoft:

    12 Nov 2013, 08:55 PM Reply Like
  • edinnarr
    , contributor
    Comments (5) | Send Message
    Do your job! Be assertive ,and speak up!
    Be honest and create value. Be fearless !
    Ed from R.i.
    14 Nov 2013, 01:20 AM Reply Like
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