You’re the president of a well-known company. You’ve just spent the past nine months battling off an acquisition from one competitor and battling for approval for a deal with another—and both end up leaving you high and dry. What are you going to do now?
If you said, “I’m going to Disney World!” . . . well, have fun with that. But if you’re Yahoo President Sue Decker, you pull out your
best stationary email client and compose a cheery note. Highlights from the company-wide memo:
While this turn of events is regrettable, it’s important for all Yahoos to recognize that our agreement with Google was just one of many efforts that we have underway to accelerate our strategy. . . . The fundamental building blocks of a stronger Yahoo! in both sponsored and algorithmic search were put in place independent of the agreement.
Specifically, there is no doubt that we are improving monetization and driving query growth. Yahoo! continually optimizes its algorithmic and sponsored search, and we have, in 2008 alone, developed and launched hundreds of improvements all designed to enhance search quality and deliver a more relevant search experience to the company’s users. . . .
Not surprisingly, we are seeing results, with the company benefitting from strong RPS gains, as discussed in our Q3 earnings call. Further, we are adding search and contextual ad functionalities on a regular basis. Most recently, we enhanced our geo-targeting capabilities to help advertisers better target their ads with powerful country, city and zip-code targeting and improved reporting.
. . . We are intensifying our efforts to create a more open, efficient and effective marketplace with as many tools as possible for advertisers and publishers to manage how they interact with users. . . . We will lead the way in helping advertisers navigate the continued convergence between the contextual and search ad markets. Finally, we will continue to provide the marketplace with one of the largest and most engaged populations of consumers on the web.
At our very core, Yahoo! stands for innovation, for entrepreneurism at its finest, for technology excellence and for pioneering the online experience, and I know that we can achieve our goals and that we have the right assets and team in place to succeed on this journey.
While the employees probably desperately needed a morale boost after the company’s escapades, to me, the buzzwords sound hollow. The memo, then, is less of a rallying cry of “Onward to victory!” and more of a concession speech.
Meanwhile, paidContent writes that Yahoo’s best options may still lie with third parties, specifically Microsoft in a deal for all of Yahoo or just Yahoo search, or a merger with AOL, although it’s probable that Yahoo will go it alone.
What do you think? Can Yahoo pull out a victory in the end, or is its fate already sealed?