Yang to Employees: Think of the Angry Mob Outside as a Fan Club
The only difference between Yahoo (YHOO) CEO Jerry Yang’s latest all-hands memo and the last one he broadcast is that “Carl Icahn” has been substituted for “Microsoft” (MSFT). Other than that, it’s another tired restatement of the capitalization-free “try not to get too preoccupied with the ongoing assault on our company” missives that Yang has issued at least twice before.
Anyway, here it is in all its keep-your-head- in-the-sand glory.
today carl icahn announced his intent to nominate a slate of 10 directors to take control of our board of directors at this year’s annual meeting. we sent him a letter in response, which we made public in a press release. i’m attaching a copy of that press release, including the full text of our letter, and you should read it carefully.
we always want to hear the views of our stockholders, but you should know that mr. icahn’s letter reflects a significant misunderstanding of the facts about the microsoft proposal and the diligence with which our board evaluated and responded to that proposal. we believe our board has the independence, knowledge, experience and commitment to maximize value for all of our stockholders. yahoo is a great company with a truly unique set of highly valuable assets that is growing, profitable and executing well on its strategic plan to enhance our leadership position in online advertising. our solid results for the first quarter of 2008 are a testament to this.
today’s events will undoubtedly draw a lot of media attention and there will be lots of speculation about what happens next for yahoo. i ask all of you to put aside the rumors and speculation and stay focused on the business at hand and what we do best — transforming the online experiences of our users, advertisers, publishers and developers.
i know you all have a lot of questions and so i’ve also attached some faqs that will address some of your questions. as we’ve said before we’ll do our best to continue to update you as new information becomes available. thank you again for your continued hard work as we work together to make yahoo a stronger leader in the online marketplace and an even better company.
Can stockholders nominate directors to the board?
Stockholders, as equity owners of the Company, have the ability to nominate one or more directors for election to a board at the Company’s annual meeting as long as they comply with the requirements contained in our bylaws. Under our bylaws, today was the last day that a stockholder could nominate a candidate for director.
How long will all this take?
We can’t speculate on how events will develop at this time, but we plan to hold our annual meeting in a couple of months. I’d ask all of you to stay focused on the business at hand and what we do best — transforming the experiences of our users, advertisers, publishers and developers, all while enhancing our leadership position in the online marketplace.
What’s our next step?
We will file preliminary proxy materials with the SEC that will describe the matters to be voted on, including the Company’s nominees for election to the board, and the board’s recommendation. Once those materials are cleared by the SEC, we will mail them to our stockholders.
In the meantime, we should remain focused on doing what we do best — transforming the experiences of our users, advertisers, publishers and developers, all while enhancing our leadership position in the online marketplace.
We will continue to update you as information becomes available but please remember that we are subject to various legal restrictions on what we can say and when we can say it.
What can employees do?
We ask you to continue to put aside all rumors and speculation you may be hearing. None of us should allow external reports to shift our focus away from doing what we do best — transforming the experiences of our users, advertisers, publishers and developers, all while enhancing our leadership position in the online marketplace.