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April 28, 2008 12:21 PM
Posted by Benjamin J. Romano
Mary Jo Foley explores how Microsoft employee morale has suffered since the company began pursuing its acquisition of Yahoo. She says there's a "real and prevailing sentiment among many in the Microsoft ranks" that the company should walk from the deal, no matter the price.
I've heard from a few at the company on this subject, and their thinking tends to follow these lines. But I'd love to hear from more employees.
Someone identifying himself as a Microsoft employee had this to say about the deal in an e-mail over the weekend:
"Microsoft should walk away and continue to reinvest in its own business and create new markets where it can. You don't see Yahoo! doing that. The problem is, SteveB is so convinced that this merger is going to be a life preserver for Microsoft, and he's been told this by I don't know how many people, that he is going to do it no matter what. What a waste of money in the short term, and in the long term, Google will still be #1."
He went on to say he has to trust Microsoft management to do the right thing for the company "because my job depends on it!"
Microsoft has been tried to address employee concerns about the deal on several occasions since it was announced. In February, Kevin Johnson, president of the Microsoft Platforms and Services Division, which would swallow Yahoo, sent an e-mail to employees. CFO Chris Liddell discussed Microsoft's stock price in the context of the Yahoo deal during an interview broadcast internally Friday, portions of which were filed with the SEC.
He was asked why shares have fallen back to the low $30s after hitting a 52-week high of $37.
Liddell called the market's negative reaction to Microsoft's third-quarter earnings on Thursday a short-term response.
"That to some extent was losing what we've gained over the last two days. So run up over last two days in anticipation of maybe a blow-out quarter. It was an in-line to a 'slight-beat' quarter so we lose a little bit of that momentum."
Longer-term, he cited three factors for the stock's performance:
"That is: Our own performance, but more particularly general economic performance, everyone is down a little bit. And the Yahoo situation and I think until the Yahoo situation clarifies itself one way or another, it's going to be an overhang on our price."
That overhang appears to have continued today. Near the close, Microsoft shares had lost 95 cents, 3.2 percent, to $28.88.
So, Microsoft employees, how do you view the Yahoo acquisition? What would you like to see Microsoft do?
Posted by msft guy
9:13 PM, Apr 28, 2008
I work in the Services division at MS, so the merger really isn't going to touch my group at all. But *everyone* I've talked to about it thinks it's a terrible idea. Microsoft has enough challenges to face right now that we don't need our entire executive team spending the next 18 months trying to integrate the companies. Factor in the Yahoo (and MS) talent that you'll lose over the deal, the added integration costs that no one can really predict yet, and the insane amount of money that SteveB seems willing to pay, and it just doesn't make sense.
Posted by hawksfan
4:13 PM, Apr 30, 2008
I think MS should walk away from the deal. Joining 2 losers doesn't make it a winner. WSJ reports MSFT sets aside a trunk of money for the possible acqusition - how is it going to compensate existing employees? I, for one, would vote on the next share holder meeting to oust SteveB.
Posted by Firozali A.Mulla MBA PhD
6:00 PM, Apr 30, 2008
In 1970s and 1980s, Microsoft was on the platform of taking all the small corporations calling these a merger. Many succumbed except Intuit with the Quick Books and it is one of the best software. Microsoft had to write own software accounting package incurring more expense. It is time the employees realise that Yahoo is a search engine and Microsoft a bully.
I thank you
Firozali A. Mulla MBA PhD
Posted by Tim Casey
6:30 PM, Apr 30, 2008
I work in Microsoft's Online Division and we aren't making any progress in catching Google so this may be our best way to do it. Most think we are paying too much, but we just need to get the deal done so we can work together with Yahoo and catch Google. We want to do to Google what we once did with Netscape several years back. Most of my co-workers don't agree with my viewpoint, but I trust SteveB and think we should pay what they want to seal the deal ASAP....
Posted by ms guy
6:33 PM, Apr 30, 2008
'Impeach' Baller I'd say.
Posted by 'Softy
6:53 PM, Apr 30, 2008
Microsoft will not begin the next step in its evolution until Balmier is gone. In the mean time forget Yahoo. In fact, forget search! Lets get out of the business. The strategy is short sighted and makes no sense. If IE defaulted to Google and we stopped spending money to support and build our search business we'd be making even more money. Can you imagine the royalty check from Google?Lets focus on building Web properties and services people want and leave search to those who have won the battle.
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Bill Gates, who last week ended his full-time involvement with Microsoft, was often right. He made a career, a company and an industry by looking over the horizon.