Yahoo has announced it is restructuring its analytics arm known as Yahoo Labs and rebranding it as Yahoo Research. The move comes close on the heels of Yahoo winding up its non-core websites.
The company will merge parts of the existing R&D team under Yahoo Research. Another part will be an autonomous team working in partnership with product teams.
"Yahoo Research will drive the company's scientific efforts, look into the future, think out of the box, and be responsible for pushing the frontiers of the consumer internet. I will lead the independent research team, and together with Ben Shahshahani and the other integrated product research partners, will guide our research activities across the company," vice president of research at Yahoo, Yoelle Maarek said in a company blog.
This also marks the departure of two research veterans Ron Brachman, chief scientist and head of Labs and Ricardo Baeza-Yates, VP of Research. Yahoo Labs was started in 2006 to bring in fresh ideas and build the next big product for the troubled company.
However, it did not give desired results and CEO Marissa Mayer decided to restructure Yahoo Labs in late 2014. "Yahoo's overall Labs staff has shrunk nearly 30% since mid-2014, and, at least, five of Yahoo Labs' overseas outposts have been shut down," according to a Business Insider report.
The tech giant has been under immense pressure to revive its lost glory. Earlier this month, Mayer announced a transformation plan to return to "modest and accelerating" growth in 2017-18. Under this, the company will simplify its product portfolio to three platforms – Search, Mail, and Tumblr – besides focusing on specific verticals of news, sports, finance and lifestyle.
This also led to massive layoffs. Last week, Yahoo announced to close Yahoo Food, Yahoo Health, Yahoo Parenting, Yahoo Makers, Yahoo Travel, Yahoo Autos and Yahoo Real Estate to focus on its core business. It also ended business in Dubai, Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Madrid and Milan. "By the end of 2016, the company anticipates having approximately 9,000 employees and fewer than 1,000 contractors. This represents a workforce that is roughly 42% smaller than it was in 2012," Mayer said. The job cuts were estimated at 1,700, or about 15% of its total workforce.