Yahoo laid off a round of workers last week, mostly cutting back its news and entertainment division in Canada.
Yahoo did not disclose if it laid off employees in California, but it was fewer than the 50 that would have triggered a required notification to the workers in advance. Neither the state nor the local workforce investment board nearest Yahoo’s Sunnyvale headquarters received any notice from the company.
In Canada, however, news of the layoffs spread quickly on social media Thursday.
“Dark day at Yahoo Canada,” wrote Toronto-based Yahoo sports editor Ian Denomme on Twitter. “By my count, Yahoo Canada laid off 35 percent of its editorial staff today.”
In addition to job losses in Toronto, Canadian business newspaper Les Affaires reported that the company closed its French-language Yahoo Quebec newsroom in Montreal, laying off about a dozen journalists there but retaining its sales staff.
“Our practice is to not comment on internal matters,” said Yahoo spokeswoman Carolyn Clark in an email Friday. “We constantly make changes to better align our resources and investments with our strategic priorities.”
Despite intense pressure from activist shareholders to cut costs, Yahoo’s head count has been mostly flat since Marissa Mayer took over as CEO in 2012. The company had 12,500 full-time employees at the end of December, according to its latest earnings report.
But it has also been scaling back its far-flung operations. Mayer has closed 12 offices during her tenure, most recently in Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and Hungary. In October, engineers lost jobs in India.
The last California layoff big enough to require advance notice to the state employment office and local employment board was in September, when Yahoo closed a 59-employee office in Carlsbad.
Mayer said during an earnings videoconference last month that Yahoo’s head count has remained steady because the company keeps adding new talent when it buys startup companies.
Yahoo has hired more than 1,000 people through acquisitions, including nearly 200 from New York-based blogging platform Tumblr, 100 from San Francisco-based Flurry and more than 400 from San Francisco-based BrightRoll. Yahoo also converted more than 1,000 contractors to full-time work, Mayer said last month.