The XX Factor

DJ Marissa Mayer Says She Doesn’t Lay Off Yahoo Employees—She “Remixes” Them

DJ Marissa Mayer spins a set on Nov. 19, 2013, in San Francisco.

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Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has a brilliant plan for upping the ailing company’s morale, a Jedi-level mind trick that’s bound to make sacked employees feel better about their fates. The New York Times reports:

Ms. Mayer has steadfastly refused to use the word “layoff” to describe the thousands of jobs eliminated since she joined the company. She even forbade her managers from uttering what she called “the L-word,” instructing them to use the term “remix” instead.

That’s right—DJ Mayer and the Management Consultants are dropping a round of hot hits sure to make your booty shake and your retirement savings quake! Put the needle on the record, strap on your boots with the fur, sit your wife and kids down to tell them the world-crushing news, try to quell that oncoming panic attack, and get ready to PAAAAAAAAAAAAAAR-TAY! The beats won’t stop till the sun comes up, the bouncers kick us out, and you’ve taken a second mortgage out on your home!

It’s party promotion 101: When the current mix of people gainfully employed at a company isn’t producing enough money, the DJs at the top of the club-kid ecosystem must mix it again. And everything—even a demoralizing, lengthy list of beloved co-workers who’ve been let go this quarter—sounds groovier when it’s preceded by an airhorn blast. ¡Dale!

Telling her employees they’ve been remixed right out of the workforce is DJ Mayer’s last attempt at a mainstream hit. She’s tried making everyone work in the office instead of at home; the better to hear her newest dubstep joints. She’s tried offering free food, unaware that most employees need 30 minutes of rest after eating before returning to the dance floor. She’s tried gallows humor: In January, she reportedly told attendees at a companywide meeting that there’d be “no layoffs—this week,” draining the last of their morale’s figurative bottle of Jägermeister.

What will the new mix sound like? Probably a few years behind the times. The struggling company’s lavish 2015 holiday party had a Great Gatsby theme—an ill-advised move, considering the themes of overconsumption and lonely rich people that run through that novel. But it was strangely apropos: The ’20s fad that resurfaced in parties and fashion was so 2013, when the Great Gatsby film remake dropped—by 2015, it was the Yahoo of party themes. Even DJ Mayer couldn’t remix that dusty track into something hip.

“I don’t think people want to be mollified—they want to be respected and trusted with facts so they can plan their lives—and also help,” a source told the New York Post of DJ Mayer’s scheduled recording sessions. Uh oh—just wait until the sales department hears about her remastered edition.