Earnings: YHOO Q407 Call: Yang: 'Confident Headed In Right Direction'; 1,000 'Targeted' Job Cuts

Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) CEO Jerry Yang opened the Q407 earnings call with a kind of “remain calm” statement — making good progress, confident we’re headed in the right direction, efforts are beginning to pay off — and a reminder that the company is “making profound fundamental changes.”

Job cuts: Yang promises a “strategic workforce realignment” by mid-February. Yang stressed his belief that now is the time for investment and said rather than across-the-board reductions, Yahoo will focus on targeted reductions alongside targeted investments; the plan includes eliminating “redundancies in bureaucracy” and redeploying talent. (In other words, a surgical strike instead of carpetbombing.) This isn’t the dramatic announcement some people predicted or wanted. No number provided although more details could come in the finance portion of the call. (Looking at one of the slides, Yahoo finished 2007 with 14.300 employees, up 700 over the previous quarter and 2,900 over Q406.

Investment priorities: Yahoo is investing in its advertising platform, continuing with an emphasis on building internally supplemented by acquisitions Right Media and BlueLithium. Yang: “With portions slated to be launched in the back half of the year, it