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Sat, Jan 24, 2009 - Page 10 News List

Yahoo! announces employee salary freeze to cut costs

AFP , SAN FRANCISCO

Yahoo said on Thursday it was freezing employee pay as it worked to curtail costs and improve the pioneering Internet firm’s fortunes.

The news came five days before Yahoo was expected to announce its earnings for the final quarter of last year.

“The executive team decided that providing annual salary increases would not be in the best interests of the company or shareholders,” Yahoo spokeswoman Kim Rubey said.

Some analysts were predicting that newly-appointed chief executive Carol Bartz would shake-up Yahoo.

Veteran Silicon Valley executive Bartz took over the helm of Yahoo last week, vowing to revive the ailing Internet giant and calling on critics to give it room to breathe.

Bartz, 60, replaces Yahoo founder Jerry Yang (楊致遠), who stepped down on Nov. 18 after a rocky tenure as chief executive of the Sunnyvale, California, firm that lasted a little over a year.

Yahoo has been outshined by Internet-search star Google and stumbling in the wake of a failed courtship with Microsoft, which offered last year to buy Yahoo for nearly US$47 billion. Yang rejected Microsoft’s US$33-a-share takeover bid.

Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer said on Thursday that the US software giant remained interested in a search business partnership with Yahoo and welcomed the appointment of Bartz.

“I’ve been quite public about the fact that there are advantages for advertisers and consumers, for Microsoft and for Yahoo through a search partnership, and we’d like to do one,” Ballmer said. “I know Carol Bartz well from Autodesk days, and I like to see her at the helm of Yahoo. If it’s appropriate I’m sure we’ll have the right discussions.”

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