Yahoo! cutting 20% of French staff, developers to bear the brunt

Yahoo! is cutting about 52 staff from its 251-strong French operation under the group-wide reductions announced from the company’s Sunnyvale HQ in October. Engineering staff are taking a big hit from the restructure as Yahoo!’s French sites carry proportionally more engineers than other locations, the company told AFP: “The category of engineers is the most affected by the cuts at the global level.” The cuts will come from both Yahoo!’s French sites, in Paris and Grenoble.

This is bittersweet as it was only in September that Yahoo! made a song and dance about opening an R&D facility in the latter, an Alps town, at a lavish ceremony involving French government ministers. Engineers at the site were to concentrate on “key strategic priorities” – internationalising Yahoo! Answers and developing search, specifically semantic search – on the site that was effectively the HQ of shopping comparison site Kelkoo, which Yahoo! recently offloaded at a big loss.

But a spokesperson called this “a plan to safeguard employment” and said six positions would be created. Separately, Yahoo! is also dropping its Content Match contextual ad technology in some parts of Europe.