Job Cuts Hit US Companies, Yang Out at Yahoo!

Slew of Job Cuts

Kraft Inc. and Northern Trust are just two companies who have announced layoffs in the last few days. Kraft announced it is cutting 1,600 jobs in the USand Canada, while Northern Trust is cutting 700 jobs, half of which in the US. “Job cuts have slowed significantly since 2008 saw the highest number of job cuts since 2001, according to Challenger tracking,” said John Challenger, CEOof Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. “However, the economy is still fragile and while several reports signal a slow, steady recovery, the cost increases in the food and consumer products industries and the continued turmoil in the financial industry could bring on more lost jobs.” Indeed, reports out show the still-weak economy is beginning to grow. Confidence among homebuilders has risen for the fourth consecutive month to the highest level since June of 2007. This news comes on top of the government’s December report showing 200,000 new jobs created and an unemployment rate of 8.5 percent. “Hiring may be slow, but if consumer confidence continues to trend upwards, demand for products will grow and jobs will naturally follow,” said Challenger. What industries are poised for growth in 2012? Which sectors may recede due to current economic factors?

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 Yang Leaves Yahoo!

Former CEO and Board Member Jerry Yang announced he was leaving the company he helped start with David Filo in 1995 after cries from shareholders claimed he was impeding investment offers and opportunities to turn around the company. Yahoo! has seen significant changes in recent years starting with a botched sale to Microsoft in 2008 which occurred under Yang’s reign as CEO. Yang gave up the CEO title in 2009 after a two year tenure to Carol Bartz, who in September was fired over the phone. She was replaced on an interim basis by CFO Timothy Morse. Scott Thompson of PayPal was recently appointed CEO. Yang’s departure may signal significant changes to the struggling company, which may include a sale, an influx of private capital or a breaking up of the company. Job cuts could follow any major change in structure. Tech cuts in 2011 totaled 37,038 compared to 46,825 in 2010.

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