May 19, 2020

Yahoo Seeks Turnaround with 2000 Job Cuts

Facebook
Yahoo
scott thompson
lawsuits
Bizclik Editor
3 min
Yahoo Seeks Turnaround with 2000 Job Cuts

 

Rumors about troubles for Yahoo have been swirling for over a month, and now it seems they were at least partially true. The company has announced that it will be cutting 2,000 employees as CEO Scott Thompson focuses on “core priorities.”

Thompson, who took the reins at Yahoo in January after leaving PayPal, says that by reducing its workforce by 14 percent, the company expects to save $375 million a year. Yahoo did not specify which departments would be cut, but analysts anticipate that at least some of the cuts will hit the company’s Silicon Valley staff.

Throughout his three month tenure, Thompson has yet to provide a detailed new direction for Yahoo, but he has promised employees that change is on the horizon.

 “Today’s actions are an important next step toward a bold, new Yahoo—smaller, nimbler, more profitable and better equipped to innovate as fast as our customers and our industry require,” said Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson in a written statement.

The statement painted a broad picture of Thompson’s plans.

“We are intensifying our efforts on our core business and redeploying resources to our most urgent priorities. Our goal is to get back to our core purpose—putting our users and advertisers first,” Thompson’s statement continued.

See Related Stories from Business Review USA:

Yahoo Restructuring Might Include Thousands of Layoffs

Yahoo’s Cofounder Jerry Yang Resigns Amidst Criticism

Yahoo Names PayPal Exec as New CEO

Click here to read the March issue of Business Review USA!

Yahoo’s staff was informed of the cuts via memo Wednesday, as the company says it notified employees affected by “job elimination or phased transition.”

“Over the last 60 days, we’ve fundamentally re-thought every part of our business and we will continue to actively consider all options that allow Yahoo to put maximum effort where we can succeed,” the memo read. “Unfortunately, reaching that goal requires the tough decision to eliminate jobs, which means losing colleagues and parting with friends.”

Ultimately, it may be tough for Yahoo to seek upward mobility with a decreased staff and the almost certain morale decline that structural changes and job cuts can cause—particularly because several tech blogs have reported that this week’s cuts are just the beginning of a prolonged wave of layoffs.

“You have to wonder why any employee that is any good would stay at this point,” said Colin Gillis, Analyst for BGC Financial. “Will Thompson have the horses he needs to reach his goals?”

Daniel Loeb, a hedge fund manager whose Third Point firm owns 5.8 percent stake in Yahoo, says that Thompson’s choice to impose layoffs without detailing plans for revenue growth was a bad move for the CEO, who has already distanced himself from the rest of Silicon Valley by suing Facebook over Internet patent rights.

“Many of Yahoo’s senior-level employees and investors have apparently seen enough and heard too little,” said Loeb in a statement.

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Jun 16, 2021

Dr Peng Wei: Designing the Future of Autonomous Aircraft

NASA
Sustainability
IATA
Airbus
3 min
NASA has announced that it will fund a new project, headed by Dr Peng Wei, to develop safety management systems for autonomous electric aircraft

Air traffic is expected to double by 2037. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the world will need 37,000+ new passenger and freight aircraft, and more than half a million new pilots—unless we come up with another solution. Right now, a George Washington University School of Engineering and Applied Science professor, Dr Peng Wei, is starting to research autonomous electric aircraft design. 

 

NASA will fund the research, which will study how to minimise risks for electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL). As Airbus states: ‘Autonomous technologies also have the potential to improve air traffic management, enhance sustainability performance and further improve aircraft safety’. 

 

Who is Dr Wei? 

An assistant professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Dr Wei has researched aircraft control, optimisation, and AI and ML applications in aviation. Over the next three years, he’ll lead the US$2.5mn NASA grant project in collaboration with researchers from Vanderbilt, the University of Texas at Austin, and MIT’s Lincoln Lab

 

Why is His Research Important? 

Even though the wide adoption of self-piloting cars, much less aircraft, is still far down the road, technologies that Dr Wei and his colleagues are researching will form the commercial transport of the future. But aviation manufacturers, in order to produce autonomous aircraft, will have to meet extremely high safety standards. 

 

‘The key challenge for self-piloting capabilities is how the system reacts to unforeseen events’, said Arne Stoschek, Wayfinder Project Executive at Acubed. ‘That’s the big jump from automated to autonomous’. In the air, AI-piloted aircraft will have to manoeuvre around adverse weather conditions, such as wind and storms, and other high-altitude risks, such as GPS hacking, cyberattacks, and aircraft degradation. And the stakes are high.

 

‘If a machine learning algorithm makes a mistake in Facebook, TikTok, Netflix —that doesn't matter too much because I was just recommended a video or movie I don't like’, Dr Wei said. ‘But if a machine learning algorithm mistake happens in a safety-critical application, such as aviation or in autonomous driving, people may have accidents. There may be fatal results’. 

 

What Are His Other Projects? 

In addition to the new NASA research, Dr Wei has been awarded three other grants to pursue AI-piloted aircraft: 

 

 

Research like NASA and Dr Wei’s three-year programme will help improve how AI reacts and adapts to challenging air conditions. In coming years, autonomous aircraft will likely take off slowly, starting with small package delivery, then upgraded drones, and finally commercialised aircraft. But congestion issues will worsen until autonomous aircraft are the best alternative. 


According to BBC Future, by 2030, commuters will spend nearly 100 hours a year in Los Angeles and Moscow traffic jams, and 43 cities will be home to more than 10 million people. The final verdict? Bring on the AI-operated transit.

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