A day after Verizon formally acquired Yahoo and announced a new subsidiary called ‘Oath’ that includes both Yahoo and AOL, it said there would not be any significant changes to the Yahoo R&D centre in India.
“There is limited impact on this office as it relates to the reductions we are making globally at Oath,” said an Oath spokesperson in response to a query from THE WEEK. Soon after the announcement of ‘Oath’, a few media reports had claimed the new subsidiary planned to lay off around 2,100 or about 15 per cent of its workforce globally.
A US-based Verizon spokesperson also ruled out the fact that there would be much changes to Verizon’s India operations and Verizon Data Services India (VDS India). Established in June 2001, VDS India is an extension of the global Verizon team, which works on a wide range of IT and technology initiatives, and has a 6,700-strong team that operates out of Chennai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru.
According to telecom expert Pravin Prashant, Yahoo connects a global audience of more than one billion active users through its e-mail, search, communications and digital content. Verizon will look to leverage Yahoo to achieve a similar scale in mobile and it will help the former to move from a telecom firm to a mobile and media advertising player so that it can compete with giants like Google. “Yahoo's R&D will help Verizon to gain inroads in digital advertising for targeting audiences in mobile business through its streamlined advertising technology. The R&D will also help Verizon business customers to leverage its technology for content creation and improving its search,” said Prashant, who is the director at DigiAnalysys.
On the other hand, HR expert Kris Lakshmikanth observed that Yahoo had considerably reduced the size of its India engineering centre, especially after Marissa Mayer took over as the CEO of Yahoo as she consolidated many jobs in the United States. “Yahoo R&D centre in India will now be having a very small workforce, say only a couple of hundred people. Probably Verizon can rope in these people in its Indian engineering team or can probably leverage the talent of the Yahoo R&D team in India,” said Lakshmikanth.