Message from Microsoft execs to employees: “Yes, we’ve just kicked off a year-long $45 billion acquisition, and yes, your lives are going to be turned upside down. But don’t let that distract you! Full steam ahead!”
And in case you missed that last line, MSFT execs repeated it at least three times during a company “town hall” meeting today. Partial transcript follows:
Ballmer, already sounding hoarse. “Full steam ahead, nothing changes until it changes.”
Handing off to MSFT ad/platform boss Kevin Johnson:
A pep talk for the online services team. You’re doing a great job!
Many of you may say, what does this Yahoo deal mean to me? What does this mean to brand, what does this mean to the brand, or synergies, or my job?
Let me try to answer some of those questions: “Do we need to change current plans of record? No. Full steam ahead. Go, go, go, go, go! We’ve to got to stay focused!”
Am I going to lose my job? Key synergy will be in expanded R&D. By combining, we can have one team of people working on search, but then have other teams working on other great ideas. “This is about expanding our engineering capabilities… but yes, there are duplicate costs.”. But don’t worry! “Stay focused! Full speed ahead!” Retaining our best people at both companies is job one.
Then some general talk about strategy: Plan is to “create a more credible alternative to an increasingly dominant player in the search industry.” He says this twice.
Hand off to CFO Chris Liddell, who says nothing. Now to MSFT folk hero Ray Ozzie, who also doesn’t say much. Now back to Kevin Johnson, who hands off to Ballmer (phew!):
1) Let me reiterate: We want to do this deal. We’ll do this deal. “But it’s not going to happen overnight. It will take probably over a better part of a year to consummate.”
2) This is entirely consistent with strategy already articulated.
3) Winning in search is fundamental to our success. There couldn’t be anything more serious than this.
Thanks a lot! Go back to work!
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