Fans of AltaVista, Delicious, Fire Eagle, and Yahoo Buzz – along with many other Yahoo properties – may want to devise a backup plan.  A leaked corporate document indicates that a number of sites are due to be shut down, and more than a few others will in some way be merged.

A note regarding the authenticity of the Yahoo document: this does indeed seem to be the real thing.  A product called myM that it mentions fell off the map a long time ago, and the scope of the "sunset" list is a little hard to swallow, but Chief Product Officer Blake Irving has threatened to fire whoever leaked it, which lends a distinct air of authenticity.

So to move on to the document itself . . . .   AlltheWeb, AltaVista, Delicious, MyBlogLog, myM, Yahoo Bookmarks, Yahoo Buzz, and Yahoo Picks are all supposed to be cut.

Then Fire Eagle, FoxyTunes, Sideline, Upcoming, Yahoo Events, and Yahoo People Search are supposed to be merged.

This signals a significant change in Yahoo’s strategy.  Streamlining on this scale may save the company lots of money, but could also harm its visibility and reputation while resulting in an unfortunate number of layoffs.

One other, completely speculative, thought: we may be witnessing Carol Bartz’s last stand as she tries to convince critics that she’s turning the company around and should be allowed to remain in charge.

Hat tip goes to Liz Gannes, who noted that MyBlogLog founder (and former Yahoo employee) Eric Marcoullier was the first person to link to the leaked document on Twitter.