Life at Yahoo

This is what it's like to work at Yahoo.
Experience WOW with Yahoo!

Experience WOW with Yahoo!

Posted: 2nd of April, 2012

Why do Yahoos love coming to work? What makes their world rock and their hearts bleed purple? Hear out Yahoos as they tell you their stories of working and growing with this organization.

Yahoo! ranked No. 2 at Bloomberg UTV Dream Employer of the Year Award

Posted: 28th of February, 2012
Yahoo! is where you can impact millions of users on the Internet, and have a blast while you’re at it. These credentials have now given us another reason to yodel.

Yahoo! was ranked no.2 at the recent the Bloomberg UTV Dream Employer of the Year Award in India, coming in just behind Hindustan Unilever. Rounding off the top 5 are YES Bank, India's fastest-growing private bank, Ernst & Young and Standard Chartered Bank. Companies belonging to Indian heavyweights like Reliance and Mahindra & Mahindra, have also featured in the top 15.

Competition was tough for this award, powered by Bloomberg UTV, the business channel, with companies across sectors and industries in India participating. But what clinched it for us was the unique Yahoo story, which combines planet-scale opportunities with the coolest Internet technologies, a WOW work culture, flexibility, and of course, the world-class Yahoo team in India.

The awards were announced “live” at an event in Mumbai, India, on February 17.

Aparna Ballakur, VP – HR, Yahoo in India represented Yahoo and showcased our compelling proposition as an employer at the event. “Very few companies in India offer both the opportunity and ability for their teams to make a global impact, on the scale that we do. This unparalleled exposure makes Yahoo in India a dream company for anyone who’s passionate about inventing the Internet of the future,” says Aparna.

Some tough jury questions followed, ranging from what Yahoo is doing to be a more generationally-diverse employer, to how we measure productivity in an environment that encourages freedom and flexibility. At the end, what floored the jury and proved to be the key differentiator, was our killer combination of Work-Opportunity-Workplace. We don’t call it WOW for nothing!
Nasa Launch Photo

Flickr: Year in Photos 2011

Posted: 7th of June, 2013
What moment in 2011 stands out in your mind? The space shuttle launching into space one final time? An earthquake and tsunami that, in a matter of minutes, devastated a country? A royal wedding destined to be talked about for decades? As we wrap up the year, Flickr has pulled together a Year in Photos 2011 Gallery that covers several of the moving, emotionally charged, and surprising images that captivated us this year. Some of these images were captured using the most sophisticated digital cameras to date, while others were taken using the latest smartphones. Regardless, each photo captures a moment perfectly. Of course, this wouldn’t be possible without the help of our Flickr community, who helped us reach new heights in 2011, including more than 6 billion photos now stored on Flickr and more than 200 million images now available through our Creative Commons  service. Many thanks to all of the Flickr members who provided photos for this collection, and here’s to 2012 and capturing even more memorable moments.

See the Year in Photos 2011 on Flickr.
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Yahoo! Independence 2011

Posted: 7th of June, 2013
Imagine an event centered around people with disabilities that has absolutely nothing to do with charity! Imagine that same event being completely fun, engaging, enlightening (And did we mention fun?). Such was Independence 2011 (, an event created specifically for the Yahoo community (including family members and friends). Independence 2011 had one primary goal: to open your eyes to the reality of disability...which is likely different from the stereotypes many of us carry around.

For more disability related content: Visit the Yahoo Accessibility Blog: Yahoo Accessibility on Facebook: Yahoo Accessibility on Twitter:
Yahoo Mail New Languages

Yahoo! Mail – Coming to a Language Near You

Posted: 7th of June, 2013
Hello, world! We’d like to give a big welcome to our new Yahoo Mail markets and languages around the world.
Yes, that’s right – today we’re announcing the international expansion of Yahoo Mail to 27 new markets and 22 new languages. 700 million of you have already come to know and love Yahoo!, Yahoo Mail and all of the different experiences we have to offer, but we have been focused on extending Yahoo to even more of you worldwide.
With today’s news, Yahoo Mail is now in more than 70 markets and 46 languages worldwide. Moreover, by adding these languages and markets today, we’re now able to reach a potential 226 million new people across every single continent.  Or to put it another way, with a push of a button (or two) approximately 90% of the world’s Internet population can now use Yahoo Mail in their native language.
Some of the new languages and markets coming on board:
  • Ten new languages in Asia, including eight new languages in India alone.
  • Twelve new languages in Europe, including Serbian, Hungarian, Bulgarian and Croatian.
  • Several new markets around the globe, including South Africa, Belgium, Austria and Portugal.
Since launching Yahoo Mail earlier this year in May, we’ve been continuously focused on delivering a faster, safer and easier online communications experience, expanding into markets like Arabic with our Maktoob launch, and now we’re delighted to offer it to all these new countries. Check it out, have fun, and let us know what you think!

James Carroll, SVP Global Products Development
Ross Levinsohn

Ad Age Honors Ross Levinsohn for Creativity

Posted: 1st of December, 2011

Yahoo!’s EVP of the Americas named one of world’s leading media strategists 

Just twelve months after joining Yahoo as the Executive Vice President of the Americas region, Ross Levinsohn has been recognized by Ad Age as a 2011 Media Maven. The annual Media Mavens awards fete the world's leading media strategists for their creative thinking, leadership and innovation. At an event in New York today honoring the award winners, Levinsohn was in very good company with honorees from brands like Apple, P&G and Warner Bros.

During his year-long tenure, Levinsohn has created a strong track record for championing unique content experiences and new partnerships that benefit Yahoo!’s consumers and advertisers. He’s committed to pushing the boundaries and ensuring Yahoo!’s continued leadership position as the premiere digital media company. Here’s a look back at some of the company’s key accomplishments under Levinsohn: 

• Yahoo! remains the top-ranked site in an amazing 13 U.S. categories, including sports, mail, news, finance, entertainment-news, shopping, TV, real estate, autos, instant messaging, and photos. 

• The Royal Wedding was the largest video event in Yahoo!’s history, surpassing the funeral of pop star Michael Jackson by 21 percent, and totaling 27 million video streams and 2.6 million live video streams over the 24-hour period from Friday to Saturday. 

• The death of Osama bin Laden marked new traffic records on Yahoo News, surpassed only by March’s earthquake in Japan. More than 45 million pages on Yahoo were viewed about bin Laden’s death those two days—more page views than these Websites got for the entire month: NPR, Salon, TechCrunch, The Atlantic, or Google Reader. 

• Yahoo! had all the top 10 original shows on the Web in August. Calling Yahoo "the broadcast network of the digital age," Yahoo Media Network senior VP Mickie Rosen announced a slate of eight new video series aimed at the 13 million women who watch Yahoo video.

• To commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11, Yahoo partnered with National September 11 Memorial & Museum (9/11 Memorial) and co-produced a memorial microsite which included tools for users to tell their own stories.

• Yahoo! and ABC announce a new partnership that will bring both consumers and advertisers a treasure trove of premium video content.
• Yahoo! is named the official, and only broadcast destination for “A Decade of Difference” –a concert celebrating the philanthropic work of President Clinton and The William J. Clinton Foundation, featuring an all-star group of the most influential and socially responsible artists, including Bono and Lady Gaga. Yahoo!’s Decade of Difference microsite received more than 200 million page views. 
•Yahoo! announced a partnership with Microsoft and AOL to offer each other’s premium non-reserved online display inventory to their respective advertising customers. 
• Yahoo! was the official live-streaming partner of the premier of “Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1”, churning out wall-to-wall coverage of the scene at L.A. Live’s Nokia Theater, including star arrivals and fan reaction. The live stream was syndicated internationally, ensuring that fans all over the world could get a glimpse of the event. An exclusive “Breaking Dawn” trailer on Yahoo shattered records with 2.9 million streams in a single day.

In an interview earlier this fall, Levinsohn told Ad Age, "I don't want to look back and say, 'Gosh, we had a chance to be innovative and bold, but we just felt comfortable and scared to do something different.'"Today’s award and the list of accomplishments above indicate he doesn’t need to worry about that. 
Sandeep Datar

Sandeep: My WOW experience

Posted: 12th of October, 2011
Senior Director, User Experience Design for India and Middle East

We are responsible for innovating and designing products that are meaningful for our end users and ones that engage and delight them. We focus on creating that “wow” experience that actually touches a user’s heart. 
My team works on products that span from media sites like Yahoo Cricket, OMG to business applications that are used by consumers and advertisers. Some of these products are targeted at the global audiences while some are unique to the India and Middle East markets.

This space is becoming exciting as our products are consumed on multiple devices like PC, mobile , tablets and connected TV’s. Designing a holistic experience that is device agnostic is truly challenging and rewarding. Good designs that are relevant, meaningful, engaging and entertaining contribute to our product metrics and also help build customer loyalty. This in turn helps build a better brand that people trust, love and follow.

In my group we also take care of accessibility requirements that help users with disabilities use our products.

Its been a little over 3 years at Yahoo and I am delighted to work with a whole bunch of talented people. Every day I learn something new and this is extremely rewarding. My role has taken me to other Yahoo offices in Jordan, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Singapore as we design products for these markets. Learning about these diverse cultures and markets and interacting with brilliant Yahoos in different parts of the world has kept me on a consistent high!

The rich product development ecosystem at the Bangalore development center, gave me an opportunity to work closely with Product Managers. This has immensely helped me understand the business perspective of designing and building products. This again has been a huge learning.

Creativity at Yahoo goes beyond designs or products – we try to weave that into our lives too. For me, that comes with being an applauded (okay, lets settle for appreciated ) barista.  Be it the espresso machine, an Italian mocha pot, a French press, an American drip coffee maker, the Vietnamese coffee filter and or the desi south indian coffee filter – brewing that well-deserved cuppa at the end of an interesting day is my idea of nirvana!
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Yahoo! Pride - It Gets Better

Posted: 11th of November, 2011

Our fellow Yahoos share a message of hope with LGBT teens.

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Yahoo! Launches Livestand!

Posted: 7th of June, 2013
Livestand is now available! A personalized living magazine, Livestand weaves together content from leading third-party publishers and Yahoo!'s global media network to create a visually stunning and deeply personalized digital experience tailored to each people's interests and passions.

Visit Livestand on Facebook! 
Hear from one of the Livestand Engineers
Like most engineers, Daivak Shah likes building things from the ground up. So naturally, when presented with the opportunity to help create Livestand for Yahoo!, Daivak jumped at the chance. The Senior Engineering Manager for Livestand describes the initiative a “content eco-system,” weaving together the vast amount of content that Yahoo has at its disposal into a rich, custom-tailored experience for consumers, advertisers and publishers. Being able to take an active role in building this game-changing user experience has kept Daivak invested in Yahoo “I feel passionate about what I’m building and I’m enjoying what I’m working on.”
yahoo safely homepage

In My Own Words: Why Yahoo! is Making a Big Difference to Kids’ Online Safety

Posted: 30th of November, 2011

As the regional director of public policy in APAC, I have many conversations with regulators on best practices in the Internet space. During these conversations, I am always proud to profile the leadership that Yahoo plays in the area of Internet safety and the websites we have launched around the world.  As a team, there are many of us working hard on this and the results in APAC are world-class.
One of the most important projects that has happened this year was the launch of Yahoo Safely in Vietnam, to promote online safety among children and young people in Vietnam. The launch roped in Vietnamese celebrity Ha Anh (also Unicef’s local Ambassador) and up-and-coming local boy-band “365” as Yahoo Ambassadors to help spread the word. Leveraging the Yahoo! Safely website and plans to extend to offline activities such as a “train-the-trainer” programme, road shows and school visits, the initiative is the first of its kind in Vietnam.
Yahoo! is the first Internet company to establish a presence in Vietnam when it entered the market in 2007 and enjoys a very positive brand image. The launch of Safely in Vietnam, to me, was testament to Yahoo!’s commitment and responsibility to the market. Vietnam is a burgeoning new-to-net market brimming with huge potential and business opportunities – and everyone wants a slice.  31% of the population is currently online, and Vietnam has experienced the fastest growth in Internet in the region in the last 10 years. Yet, online safety is largely overlooked.
While online safety is important all across the world, it is critical in emerging markets in Asia as the majority of new users are youth aged 15 and above, where the Internet is an uncharted landscape, not just to them, but to their parents and educators.
Yahoo! has robust online safety programs in every major market. Above Yahoo Safely which has been launched is in most markets, there are also online safety initiatives in the region outside the umbrella that push strong similarly strong agendas.
In India, the online safety programme led by colleagues from Yahoo India comes under Learn with Yahoo!, an initiative to educate users about the Internet, and like Vietnam, targets new-to-net users. In Taiwan, a mature market where Yahoo enjoys a 98% reach, the Internet Security Program for Children aims to educate users as early as elementary school.
Reaching out in India
India’s online safety program kicked into high gear when its school program, upon travelling to 27 schools in Delhi last year, found that while 98% of this school’s growing audience knew about the Internet and considered it a destination for learning, fun and entertainment, net safety was not a feature on the kids’ radar. Awareness about Internet safety was virtually non-existent.
This insight shaped a new focus for the team, who took the safety message outside of the original program framework. Harnessing the reach and popularity of animated cartoon characters, Yahoo India aired vignettes on Internet safety on kids’ channels such as Cartoon Network and Pogo, with the characters sharing tips, along with an interactive quiz on TV through SMS, to effectively get the message across to kids and parents.
Now, Yahoo India reaches 82% of the Internet audience in India and is a market where users are growing exponentially. Today, above leveraging kids channels and school programs, Internet safety tips are shared across 2,500 Internet cafés in 50+ Indian cities, helping a brand new audience make smarter, safer choices online.
Keeping Kids Safe Online in Taiwan
In Taiwan, Yahoo!Kimo’s partnership with the government and academy brought to bear its Internet Safety Program for Children in 2009. It is estimated that 1.6 million Taiwanese children under 12 use the Internet. The project addressed kids aged 12-14 and touched on three main areas: managing time spent online, befriending strangers on the Internet and giving out too much personal information.
The campaign started in Taipei with camps, blogs, online material and an ambassador programme, and extended islandwide the following year. Materials were developed for classroom use, and Yahoo!Kimo travelled to 2,650 elementary schools across the country to spread the message. This year, teen idols were invited to speak on the program together with the launch of fun videos and competition. And the kids noticed – making over 100,000 downloads of the material. Yahoo Kimo’s efforts have seen them win the Taiwan PR Awards- Corporate Social Responsibility Campaign of the Year, and  the Outstanding Award – Education, in the annual CSR awards presented by Global Views, a leading current affairs publication in Taiwan.
And the online safety push isn’t over in Vietnam. In July, the PC for Life campaign, in partnership with Dell and Intel, saw 2,000 youth journeying across the country on foot to spread the word on internet safety, and educating villagers along the way on how to use the Internet. The Yahoo Safely partnership with Unicef also saw an MOU signed, partnering on various children issues.
To say the least, I’m very proud to be working for a company which understands the need to better the community it serves.
Kuek Yu-Chuang, Yahoo! APAC’s regional director of public policy

Yahoo! Safely around the world - click the link for your region to learn more:
Argentina : Asia : Australia : Brasil : Canada : Chile : Colombia : DeutschlandEspaña : France : 香港 : India : Indonesia : Italia : Malaysia : Méxicoالشرق الأوسط وإفريقيا : New ZealandPerú : Philippines : Québec : Singapore한국台灣ประเทศไทย : United Kingdom : United Statesen Español : VenezuelaViệt Nam
Pragjyoti Nair

Pragjyoti: The World of Platforms

Posted: 12th of October, 2011
Director, Program management & Business Operations, Cloud Platforms Group 

 I run the program management and business operations for the Cloud Platform Group (CPG) at Bangalore. At CPG, we deliver the powerful infrastructure and platforms that help developers innovate and add new features rapidly and efficiently.
Leading a team of program managers, I track strategic initiatives in this Group by monitoring progress towards meeting goals and achieving benchmarks, analyzing data, ensuring follow-through on the part of key players, and sustaining momentum needed to drive these initiatives. We take accountability for planning, structuring, leading and executing the largest projects or programmes, which are often of great complexity and high risk.

Sounds complex, well that’s what the world of Platforms is all about. But actually, that’s not all – we do have our “fun” moments too.

I remember an instance, when the team pulled a fast one on our boss (who had been newly promoted) to come to a nearby restaurant - on the pretext of conducting an interview. An unsuspecting boss was shocked to see a table full of his team members waiting eagerly for him to sponsor a lunch treat! Since then he has been very cautious about our interview invites especially when it is at some fancy restaurant!

I have been with Yahoo for about 3 and half years and it has been one great ride! One of the most compelling reasons to work at Yahoo is the culture of the organization - we live life with an exclamation mark!  In the unpredictable internet world, it is easy to get overwhelmed by the demanding and dynamic nature of the work. What I love about Yahoo is that here everyone gets the opportunity to make a difference.  You are a part of a diverse and inclusive work culture, and surrounded by some of the most brilliant, innovative and creative minds in the business. We exemplify work-hard-and-play-hard.  It is exciting, energetic, passionate and fun! Truly, a great place to be.

In My Own Words - "Amazingly Ordinary" - What does that mean?

Posted: 24th of October, 2011
What does "amazingly ordinary" mean? Yahoo Alan Brightman explains the idea behind Independence-2011.

In this article, we meet Alan Brightman. As a leader in the Global Accessibility Team, Alan opens our eyes to what a Yahoo user with disabilities may feel, and how we can all learn about the humanity of accessibility during Yahoo!'s Independence-2011.

Be honest. If you were able to picture our hundreds of millions of users, how often do you think that picture would include individuals with disabilities?
Never? Yes, that’s pretty much the average. And understandably so. After all, most of us have almost no direct experience with disabled people so if we ever do think about kids or adults with disabilities, we usually think about them as being somehow “special” - as being very different from who we usually think of as Yahoo users.

Just Plain Ordinary

Many years ago, a friend of mine told me from his wheelchair that the toughest thing about being disabled is, “I’m never perceived as just plain ordinary. I’m either noticed too much or noticed not at all.” That’s a strange place to be, not being able to simply blend in—to be invisible—whenever you want.

And that is how the idea for Yahoo!’s Independence-2011 came about.

The Humanity of Accessibility

More than a thousand Yahoos have toured our Accessibility Labs in Sunnyvale and Bangalore and, as a result, have learned a lot about the technology of accessibility. What we haven’t been able to teach well enough, though, is the humanity of accessibility or what I think of as the ordinariness of disability. So we’re bringing that amazing ordinariness to the Yahoo campus. We’re giving Yahoos the opportunity to better understand the disabled experience in a comfortable, engaging, and non-threatening setting.

Independence-2011 Activities

There will be a lot going on during Independence-2011. A nationally known chef, who happens to be blind, will display his culinary talents in an activity called “Cooking Without Looking.” An organization known as the AbleGamers Foundation will show how kids and adults with profound disabilities use various assistive technologies to play the same video games on the same consoles as everyone else. The National Center for Accessible Media will be on hand demonstrating a variety of technologies, including one that they invented, which enables people who are deaf to watch captioned versions of first-run movies while sitting right next to someone—in a mainstream movie theater—who isn’t seeing any captions at all.

Other activities and demos will be arrayed across the Yahoo campus, including what many Yahoos see as a rare opportunity to show off their basketball prowess. They’ll be playing in wheelchairs on our courts against a professional wheelchair basketball team from Berkeley.

Las Vegas odds have yet to be posted for the wheelchair basketball competitions, but I think it’s safe to say that the guys in the purple shirts will be humbled. And trounced.

Alan Brightman
VP, Global Accessibility Team
Jijin Gopal

Jijin: Never Fail to Make an Attempt

Posted: 12th of October, 2011

Project Manager, Yahoo Small Business

In my role at Yahoo Small Business, I am responsible for managing the process and product updates - coordinating product releases and ensuring a smooth ramp-up so that our end-users are not affected.

We are part of the customer advocacy group which handles Yahoo Small Business products such as e-commerce, hosting and domains; and are responsible for critical users and revenue generating customers and a potential failure in this group could have drastic impact. And that’s what makes my role interesting and challenging every day.

I complete 4 years with Yahoo in 2011. My journey has been a rather life-changing experience – with every job, one faces ups and downs, but the important thing I have learned at Yahoo is to never give up. Here, we simply learn from our mistakes and move on in pursuit of our goals.

In all these years, there have been some awesome moments – the beer fests, the regular foosball matches, and the annual bashes. The one that stands out is when I got a chance to speak with my hero, David Beckham – Yahoo!’s global ambassador!  I am still thrilled about it!

At Yahoo I found the opportunity I was looking for – from being just another techie to someone who stands out. I got the platform to enhance my tech as well as creative skills, and of course I got to master foosball.

So here I am, standing tall in my belief: “An attempt is never a failure, so never fail to make an attempt.”
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Opening Eyes to Accessibility

Posted: 7th of June, 2013
Victor Tsaran is one of those people who leaves people with a long lasting impression. He grew up in a Ukrainian orphanage and is now a talented computer engineer in the U.S. He’s an accomplished musician and songwriter. And he also happens to be blind.

Victor runs Yahoo!’s accessibility program. He helps make it easy for people with all kinds of disabilities to use our sites. When I first met Victor, I had the same naïve reaction most people have – dumbfounded by how he could crank open his laptop and be fully self-sufficient reading email and surfing the web. That’s because I was clueless about all the remarkable ways that people with disabilities use technology.

Victor’s made it his mission to educate our designers and engineers, helping change their assumptions that accessibility somehow requires sacrifice or compromise. On the contrary, Victor argues that accessible design is better for everyone. Just as curb-cuts were designed for wheelchairs, they’re also a great convenience for strollers, luggage and shopping carts, right?

But driving the point home sometimes means making someone walk a mile in his moccasins. Enter the Yahoo Accessibility Lab, which has been toured by more than 75 product teams to date. It’s filled with a wide array of assistive technologies – screen readers, onscreen keyboards, interactive Braille displays, etc. When Yahoos arrive, they’re told they’ve just had a stroke and can’t type with their fingers. They’re given a rubber ball and asked to type their name. Um… Next, they’re fully paralyzed. “OK, try to send an email.” Uh… After they’re introduced to the technology solutions, they watch videos of disabled people in action.

All this leaves developers making accessibility a goal before they write their first line of code. It’s why anybody can access rich features and tools on products like Yahoo Sports, My Yahoo!, Yahoo Finance, Yahoo News, Yahoo Search, Yahoo Messenger for the iPhone. It’s why third-party websites that are inaccessible in their own right are now entirely accessible via the new “favorites” area on the Yahoo Homepage. Victor has helped Yahoo make enormous strides since joining us four years ago, but there’s still more to come.

We spent some time following Victor with a video camera to not only understand his work, but to appreciate his daily experience. Commuting by train. Playing guitar. Making lunch with his wife Karo Caran, a fellow student from the Overbrook School for the Blind. We watched as sighted people had their first awkward interactions with him. He laughs when he describes how often people raise their hands when he asks questions during his new hire orientation briefings. Well-meaning commuters sometimes escort him to the wheelchair zone on the train platform. It took me a while to realize he’s not offended by questions like “Did you see my email?”

Spend any amount of time with Victor and you realize that his blindness doesn’t really make him all that different from anyone else – except that his computer talks to him. Really, really fast.
Hemant Sambrani

Hemanth: Think, Work, and See it Through

Posted: 12th of October, 2011

I am a Product Manager with the Yahoo Cloud Platform Group.
I drive the product definition of Comments, Conversations and Message Boards on User Generated Content Cloud, or what we call as UGC Cloud.

The UGC Cloud group provides a performant, scalable platform and widget solutions for Yahoo properties to enrich their content pages with User Generated Content constructs.

Sounds quite complex, doesn’t it? Well what we work on provides users with mechanisms to express themselves and engage in personally meaningful conversations with the rich community on Yahoo verticals.

We believe that creating an awesome digital experience is about engaging and delighting the user in ways which bring personal meaning to their experience and discoveries on the web.

For me, it is always an exhilarating experience to define a product and see it through as it comes alive. And this does involve a lot of work around benchmarking competitive products, carrying out some market and products research, talking to loads of people and teams, and finding  opportunities to improve the product or patent ideas. Sometimes, it is a ton of work, and quite layered as well.  What helps me craft a solution, I guess, is my belief that if we keep chipping at it long enough, we will find a way to deal with it.

I am a man of few words. So I describe my past 5 years with Yahoo with only one word – Fun! Exciting, cool work culture which feeds on passion, innovation and creativity. Absolutely flexible and open about things that matter! I have also found it very helpful the way Yahoo has connected me to several workshops, conferences and events which help me understand the ecosystem around us and then contribute to it.

And of course the best part is that the culture completely vibes with what I believe: Think, Work and See it through.