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As Yahoo began its second round of layoffs this year, an investment firm, Ivory Investment Management, which owns a 1.5 percent stake in Yahoo, urged the firm's board to sell its Internet search business to software giant Microsoft.
Yahoo announced plans to dump some 1,400 employees after reporting in October that the weak economy had cut deeply into the California Internet pioneer's third-quarter profits.
Layoffs of most US Yahoo workers were happening Wednesday and were already underway in other parts of the world, Yahoo's beleaguered co-founder and outgoing chief executive Jerry Yang wrote in an email to employees.
"This is a tough time for all of us," Yang wrote. "The reductions we're making are very hard, but they are also very necessary as we focus on the long-term health of our business."