Looks like Yahoo and Microsoft are pulling a switcheroo.
Microsoft told employees on Tuesday that it's ending its so-called "stack-ranking" system. Under Microsoft's infamous system, workers were ranked on a curve, and those at the low end would be fired or dealt with in some way. The goal in stopping these rankings is to focus more "on teamwork and collaboration," according to an internal memo human-resources chief Lisa Brummel sent to Microsoft employees, which The Verge got its hands on.
Yahoo employees can't be happy to hear that news. Just last week, it was reported that CEO Marissa Mayer had recently begun implementing this exact strategy at Yahoo. AllThingsD's Kara Swisher reported that Mayer asked managers to rank their workers on a curve, and more than 600 people have been fired in the past few weeks.
Stack ranking certainly didn't do Microsoft any favors over the years, breeding resentment and distrust among employees. "Every current and former Microsoft employee I interviewed—every one—cited stack ranking as the most destructive process inside of Microsoft, something that drove out untold numbers of employees,” Vanity Fair's Kurt Eichenwald wrote in a 2012 profile of Microsoft.
The biggest problem with stack ranking is that it encourages employees to be competitive with one another rather than collaborative. And it was just as anti-collaborative as Microsoft suspected. According to Eichenwald, Microsoft's top performers avoided working on the same teams "out of fear that they would be hurt in the rankings."
Microsoft now wants employees to focus on "how you leverage input and ideas from others, and what you contribute to others’ success," the memo said.
This system of stack ranking started with Jack Welch at General Electric in the 1980s before getting picked up by Microsoft. Stack ranking then became popular at Google, but it's not clear if Mayer, who was previously a vice president at Google, was involved in implementing it.
Earlier on HuffPost:
Advice To Job Hunting Women
"Find something you're passionate about and just love. Passion is really gender-neutralizing," Marissa Mayer said on Martha Stewart's "<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=SilwG6vMARI" target="_hplink">Women with Vision</a>" television series in 2011.
The Pie 'Isn't Big Enough'
"Right now is a great time to be a woman in tech, but there's not enough women in tech," Mayer told a <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=prXCrcV-T3M" target="_hplink">CES2012 panel hosted by CNET</a>. "[I] worry a lot of times the conversation gets really focused on what percentage of the pie is women. And the truth is, the pie isn't big enough. We're not producing enough computer scientist. We're not producing enough product designers. We need a lot more people to keep up with all of these gadgets, all of this technology, all these possibilities." Mayer also commented on the stereotypical culture within the tech world: "There's all kinds of different women who do this. You can wear ruffles, you can be a jock, and you still be a great computer scientist or a great technologist, or a great product designer."
"There's just huge growth and opportunity. [T]he fact that the technology is now so tangible in our everyday lives, I think, will inspire a lot more women to go into technology -- and I'm really heartened by that," Mayer said for the MAKERS "<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikYo_TLvLh0&list=PL060768C56BD94F3E&index=9&feature=plpp_video" target="_hplink">Women in Tech</a>" interview series in 2012.
"I consider myself incredibly lucky to be present in a moment in time when this wonderful and powerful medium, the internet, is empowering geeks -- and especially female geeks -- to express and pursue their passions," Meyer said in a 2012 acceptance speech at the Celebrating Change gala. She had just won the International Museum of Women's first-ever <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ysPF6gQRROY" target="_hplink">Innovator Award</a>.
"People ask me all the time, 'What is it like to be a woman at Google?' I'm not a women at Google; I'm a geek at Google. And being a geek is just great," she said in an interview for CNN's <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=sNO1QM9UBCA" target="_hplink">"Leading Women</a>" series in 2012.