Instead of calling the sackings by their usual euphemism of “redundancies”, Yahoo CEO Yahoo Marissa Mayer, called Its layoffs a ‘Remix’.
A remix does not have any connotations of anything bad happening. It sounds like you just replaced a few marshmallows with some vanilla whirls before taking them to the counter of Woolworths when you were a kid. There is no symbolism of tearful staff exiting the building with their belongings in a photocopy paper box trying to navigate the streets staring through the leaves of a the plant which had sat on their desk for 10 years.
Staff at Yahoo are not stupid. They know that the company is to search engines what Twilight was to vampire horror, Despite a renewed focus on mobile and an influx of skilled developers and engineers, the company still struggles to define its place on the modern tech scene.
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, in a conference call with reporters and analysts, referred to the net layoffs of 1,100 employees in the first quarter of 2015 as part of a “remixing and pivoting” of the company.
Pivoting is another method of using a “nice” word when a darker word is more apt. Mayer is turning around a company. Pivoting gives the image of a ballet dancer making a slight tilt before doing a pirouette. In fact if Yahoo was just pivoting it would not solve anything.
Mayer’s “remix and pivot” is an insult to her staff, whom she expects to follow her though what is a bloody miserable time. Having been through a couple of restructurings, the last thing that employees want to hear is that their pain has been dumbed down and sanitised.
If Mayer is given the boot by her impatient board or shareholders, it is unlikely she would call it a remix.