Yahoo! : Uh Oh, The Grown-ups Are Here

Yahoo's board of directors is reportedly meeting today to consider what to do about Microsoft's unsolicited $44.6 billion buyout offer. There's been quite a bit of advice, unsolicited and otherwise, offered to Yahoo to avoid being taken over. The offer so far exceeds the value of the stock involved that the board would likely be blamed for malfeasance if they did nothing, and it's very unlikely anyone else is going to offer more. Why is Yahoo's management balking at the takeover?

 "They have to be public about it," Ward [publisher of Boardroom Insider] said. "They have to leave a strong record of who said what and who and when....You document and then you re- document...You have to show not just that the i's are dotted, but that they are dotted twice."

That explains why CEO Yang's e-mail to employees that the board has yet to decide on the Microsoft offer was made public just shortly after it was sent out Wednesday.

In his e-mail, which was addressed to "yahoos" and written in the typical casual e-mail style with all the letters in lower case, Yang said the board was "thoughtfully evaluating a wide range of potential strategic alternatives in what is a complex and evolving landscape. And we've hired top advisors to assist through the process."

One alternative thought to be on the table is a deal with arch-rival Google to outsource Yahoo's Web search functions.

That sentence from Yang sums it all up. The director of Yahoo is writing in the style of a bad blog commenter, while the message itself is an egregious example of corporate buzzword pablum. Anybody running a corporation that would countenance essentially giving away your core business to your main competitor rather than let another entity buy it for twice what it's worth shouldn't be running a major corporation in the first place. The grown-ups have arrived, and brought money. A corporate change that will surely demand capitalizing the first word in each sentence is a small price to pay to save Yahoo from AOL's fate, don't you think?
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