Yahoo! To Slash Jobs at GeoCities

More than two-thirds of the employees at Web community GeoCities are losing their jobs now that Yahoo!’s acquisition of the company has been finalized.

Yahoo! confirmed Friday that approximately 200 of GeoCities’ 319 positions have been eliminated. A Yahoo! spokeswoman said the human resources, sales, customer service and public relations departments will see the brunt of the layoffs. The affected employees will receive a severance package, although neither company listed specifics.

Meanwhile, Yahoo! officials were playing up the enhancements that both companies’ customers will see now that the deal is closed. In January, Yahoo! announced the acquisition in a stock deal valued at about $3.6 billion.

“We have moved aggressively to complete the GeoCities transaction, secure
the company’s key talent to continue to build our community efforts, and
provide our combined customers with an expanded set of services,” said Jeff
Mallett, Yahoo!’s president and chief operating officer.

“The combination of
GeoCities and Yahoo! will result in enhanced publishing tools and community
services for our 60 million users worldwide, and further strengthens Yahoo!’s
global leadership position.”

GeoCities’ services including auctions, chat, message boards and classifieds will fall under the Yahoo! umbrella. In addition, the home page building service will be integrated throughout the Yahoo! Clubs community in special-interest areas such as music, health and politics. Yahoo! said it plans to begin rolling out these new services over the next few weeks.

GeoCities’ estimated 4.2 million homesteaders will still be able to access to their home pages and services, but will also have access to My Yahoo!, Yahoo! Mail, Yahoo! Shopping, Yahoo! Auctions, Yahoo! Chat and message boards.

Tom Evans, president and CEO of GeoCities has been named vice president of industry relations for Yahoo!, responsible for working with Yahoo!’s senior sales executives and key industry associations. Steve Hansen, GeoCities’ chief operating officer and chief financial officer, will serve as vice president of Yahoo! GeoCities Operations and will oversee the GeoCities
transition. David Bohnett, GeoCities’ founder, will act as an outside community
advisor to Yahoo!.

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