As part of that plan, Mayer noted that Yahoo is “streamlining our sales support and operations teams and simplifying our international organization to focus on fewer ad products.”
Wednesday’s layoffs appear to be a part of that streamlining. From Yahoo’s perspective, it would seem to be a priority for management to automate certain aspects of Yahoo ad sales that have been manual until now.
It’s also possible that some BrightRoll employees in particular, perhaps rather conveniently for Yahoo, are already or will soon likely be leaving of their own accord. Many employee stock options that accompanied Yahoo's December 2014 acquisition of BrightRoll were scheduled to vest in Q1 2015. Some employees might sell their shares and get out of Dodge organically rather than wait for the ax to fall.
Yahoo provided this canned quote:
“In early February Yahoo shared a plan for the future. With this new plan came some very difficult decisions and changes to our business. As a result of these changes some jobs have been eliminated and those employees have been notified. We thank those employees for their outstanding service to Yahoo and will treat these employees with the respect and fairness they deserve.”