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Yahoo Laying Off Staff And Considering Selling Itself

Yahoo is addressing continued losses with layoffs and other cuts.
Marcio Jose Sanchez
Yahoo is addressing continued losses with layoffs and other cuts.

Yahoo, the Internet pioneer, continues to lose money. Tuesday in its fourth-quarter report, the company said it had a loss of $4.4 billion.

It's also laying off about 15 percent of its workforce and closing offices in five locations. Yahoo says it will explore "strategic alternatives" for its struggling Internet businesses including getting rid of services and assets that CEO Marissa Mayer has decided are not worth continued investment of time and money.

Mayer came to Yahoo from Google in 2012 and was seen as a savior for the once-dominant Internet company. Yahoo is now 42 percent smaller than when she arrived, even though she has made several acquisitions including the blogging platform Tumblr.

Most of Yahoo's growth has come from its stake in the Chinese e-commerce site Alibaba. Though Yahoo can still boast 1 billion unique visitors to its various sites — finance, email, and sports among them — it has struggled to draw advertising dollars against rivals like Google and Facebook.

Maynard Webb, the chairman of Yahoo's board, also signaled that the company might sell itself to the right bidder. Several investment firms, wireless providers and media companies have shown an interest in buying it. And it's a solution that frustrated investors have been pushing.

Yahoo was founded at a time when search engines were more limited and people were still using dial-up modems. Despite having an audience for its services, it has never quite been able to keep up with the shifting shape of Internet life.

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Laura Sydell fell in love with the intimate storytelling qualities of radio, which combined her passion for theatre and writing with her addiction to news. Over her career she has covered politics, arts, media, religion, and entrepreneurship. Currently Sydell is the Digital Culture Correspondent for NPR's All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Weekend Edition, and

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