Yammer offers bonuses to defecting Yahoo staff

Posted by Emma Woollacott

There may not be a great deal of work being done at Yahoo's Sunnyvale headquarters today, as staff frantically update their resumes.

The CEO of Yammer, a social networking service for businesses, is offering a bonus of $25,000 for any Yahoo employees who up sticks and defect to his company in the next 60 days.

David Sacks is on the warpath about Yahoo's decision to sue Facebook over alleged patent infringement, claiming that the entire social network is built on its technology.

According to Sacks, Yahoo is no more than a patent troll, seeking revenue through lawsuits rather than product offerings. He's a bit sensitive about patent suits at the moment, having recently been hit with one himself.

Earlier this week, he called on Silicon Valley to condemn the company, tweeting: "Silicon Valley can stop Yahoo: simply declare that any employee still there in 60 days is blackballed forever. We don't hire patent trolls."

He added, "For the record, many great people still work at Yahoo, especially in engineering. We would make offers to many of them."

Here's a thought, though: Sacks's initiative could backfire and act to Yahoo's benefit. Yahoo's new CEO, Scott Thompson, is said to be planning a big reorganization that could see the loss of thousands of jobs.

Yammer's offer could help Yahoo get rid of large numbers of staff - without severance payments - in advance of a layoff program.