Jerry Yang: Yahoo! “Emerged A Stronger, More Focused Company” Over The Last 3 Months

Posted May 4, 2008

Tomorrow morning when the stock exchange opens, keep a close eye on Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) About an hour ago, Jerry Yang wrote an article entitled “Ok, so now what?” Yang is receiving a lot of pressure for not accepting the $47 billion bid from shareholders. The intention of the article seems to be an attempt to reassure shareholders that the search engine company knows the direction that they’re heading will be successful.

The last 13 weeks have been a remarkable time here at Yahoo!. Weâ??ve been living under the microscope in a way we never have before. There has been greater attention than ever on our strategy and our ability to execute against it. Some even questioned whether Microsoftâ??s unsolicited proposal would distract us from our mission, just as we were beginning to really push the pedal on our strategy.

Those people underestimated the determination of Yahoo!â??s incredible people, spirit and culture.

Our first quarter was probably one of the most exciting quarters in our history in terms of delivering innovative products and services that really move the needle and make a difference for our users and customers: Acquiring Maven Networks. Launching Buzz, OneSearch 2.0, voice-activated mobile search, video on Flickr, Shine. Previewing AMP! from Yahoo! and SearchMonkey. Adding more Newspaper Consortium members. Establishing our New R&D labs in India and Israel. Our first quarter results proved that we have the right strategy, a fantastic team, and that our investments are starting to pay off.

All of this reinforced our boardâ??s position that Microsoftâ??s offer undervalued our unique global franchise.

So, whatâ??s next? With Microsoftâ??s withdrawal, weâ??ll be better able to focus our energy on growing our industry leadership and maximizing value for stockholders. Weâ??ll continue to execute on our plan â?? making your Internet experience as personal, relevant, open and social as possible, serving advertisers so well they insist on working with us, and opening up Yahoo! in a way that developers dream of. And, weâ??ll also continue to pursue strategic opportunities that position us for long-term success.

Has this experience changed us? Of course, it has. Weâ??ve emerged a stronger, more focused company with an even greater sense of purpose. Iâ??m so proud of how this company has come together, put the noise aside, and showed the world that we have the resolve and determination to thrive in challenging times.

We know the spotlight will probably stay on us for a while. Thatâ??s fine â?? we have a clear path ahead and momentum to build on. And thousands of dedicated Yahoos around the world who have held up well to scrutiny. Itâ??s now up to us to show what we Yahoos can really do.

By the way, Iâ??m sure youâ??ve all read or watched the news about this. Frankly, thereâ??s a lot of nonsense and misinformation in whatâ??s being reported. Just so we are all clear, hereâ??s what happened. The board took its mission very seriously. We clearly indicated to Microsoft that we were open to a transaction but only if it were on terms that fully recognized the value of Yahoo! and was in the best interests of our stockholders.

No one is celebrating about the outcome of these past three monthsâ?¦ and no one should. We live and work in a competitive world and the Web is only going to get more competitive. Executing on our strategic plan is what matters most.

Finally, Iâ??d like to thank the many of you who so passionately shared your support for Yahoo!. Thatâ??s what brings it all home for us.

Jerry Yang
CEO and Chief Yahoo

Surprisingly, Jerry didn’t mention any of the potential Google and AOL partnerships in this letter. Perhaps they will announce something soon.