Ballmer's Note To The Troops: Most Of You Won't Lose Your Jobs


As Microsoft (MSFT) and Yahoo (YHOO) embark on their search and advertising marriage, “redundancies” at both companies will mean shifting jobs between the companies. Yahoo already said that some of its search engineers will wind up at Microsoft. How about Microsoft’s employees?

In a note to staff, obtained by TechFlash, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said today that most — if not all — of his staff will get to keep their jobs, but they may be reassigned “into new high-priority functions.”

Here’s the entire note:

As you’ve heard me say many times, search is a critical business for us. We took a major step forward two months ago, when we announced Bing. Already, Bing has generated huge buzz, great reviews, and early usage figures ahead of our expectations.

Today we’re taking another important step in redefining search and search advertising. Later this morning, I’ll be announcing a partnership with Yahoo in a conference call with Yahoo’s CEO Carol Bartz. This deal is a win-win for Microsoft and Yahoo. We will get the resources and scale we need to compete effectively in search and to continue to drive new innovation for customers and advertisers, while Yahoo will increase their focus and investment on their online consumer experiences and other business priorities.

As part of the deal, Bing will become the search and search advertising platform for all Yahoo properties, and we will acquire the rights to Yahoo’s search engine and advertising platform technology. The combination of Bing and Yahoo’s scale and technology will accelerate the improvement of search – we’ll be able to add new features and improve the relevancy of search results more quickly than ever. And with expanded scale, we’ll be able to offer advertisers greater return on their investment.

There will be tremendous efficiency gains for both companies. Microsoft will assume responsibility for constantly improving search and search advertising technology on behalf of both companies. We see so much opportunity improve search on behalf of our customers – to make search more relevant and more useful to consumers, and more than just a list of blue links. Yahoo will assume responsibility for search advertising sales to certain premium customers on behalf of both companies. Given the huge opportunities in search and online advertising, we plan to redeploy most if not all affected employees into new high-priority functions.

Given the importance of the search marketplace, this proposed agreement will of course require careful review by regulators, which will take some time, but we believe it will strengthen competition and choice.

It’s been a long road to today’s announcement, but I’m extremely happy with where we ended up. This agreement will help bring choice and transparency back to consumers, advertisers and publishers. It will accelerate our efforts to restore competition to the search market currently dominated by one company. And it’s a huge validation of our strategy to redefine search, and all the great work the Bing and adCenter teams are doing. This deal will accelerate our efforts toward long-term success in search and search advertising.

You can learn more at a joint website we’ve established, which provides a summary of the deal and the advantages it will provide for consumers, advertisers and publishers.


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