A leaked email from Yahoo co-founders Jerry Yang and David Filo, and board chairman Roy Bostock to Yahoo employees appears to suggest that the company is looking around for buyers, though whether a sale would involve part of the firm or the whole lot isn’t yet clear. The email also informed Yahoo’s 14,000 or so employees that a review of its business strategy will most likely take “months not weeks.”
The email says that the company has hired investment bank Allen & Company to help with its review and that “they are fielding inquiries from multiple parties that have already expressed interest in a number of potential options.”
Carol Bartz was fired from her position as Yahoo CEO earlier this month and since then there’s been plenty of industry talk about the company being bought, though up until the leaking of the email there was no real suggestion of this possibility from Yahoo itself.
Upon Bartz’s departure, former Yahoo CFO Tim Morse was installed as CEO, though this is a temporary measure. “….the Board has commenced a search for a permanent Chief Executive Officer. That process also continues,” it said in the email.
The email appeared to have been sent in order to reassure employees at a time when there are many rumors flying around regarding its future. “We don’t have specific news to share with you today, but we are committed to communicating with you directly from time to time – especially given the level of external swirl – so that you know where we are in the process,” it said.
The email also had some words to say about how the company might re-establish itself as a leading player in the online world: “What Yahoo! needs to do better….is accelerate innovation, reignite inspiration, and give our users what they want now – great content that is engaging and easy-to-use on any device and provides an experience in which they can participate and contribute. Perhaps most importantly, we need to anticipate what they will want next.”
While anticipating what users want is undoubtedly key to the success of any business, until Yahoo comes up with a long-term strategy and choose a new CEO, little progress is likely to be made.