Translating Corporate Speak: Yahoo

by Mr Juggles

Translating a Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO) CEO e-missive may be a fool’s errand for the average person, but our friends at Yahoo have asked for help and we will oblige them with the application of our propietary translation algorithm to the letter of Jerry Yang.

Corporate Speak

Subject: Building on our strengths

yahoos —

first off, I want to thank you for the great job you’re doing staying focused on executing our priorities. there’s obviously been a lot of talk about yahoo! in recent days and we won’t let it distract us from pursuing our transformation strategy.

roy and I have communicated about the thorough review process our board is going through right now. the board is focused on maximizing the value of yahoo!’s tremendous assets for our shareholders. and it is going to take the time it needs to do it right.

as we’ve said, no decisions have been made about microsoft’s proposal. our board is 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.

what’s become clear in the past few days is how much people care about this company. we’ve seen a strong show of support from our users, advertisers, and publishers, reminding us how much they love our products and services. and i’ve heard from many of you — and from other friends and colleagues from around silicon valley and across the globe — that we need to do what’s best for yahoo! and our shareholders. i promise you that the board is going to do that.

the microsoft interest highlights the tremendous strength of the yahoo! brand and assets: our half billion users around the world, our leading products and services, our open ad network, our technology, and most of all, our amazingly talented people.

we have a lot to be excited about and there’s more good news to come. yesterday we announced a digital music partnership with rhapsody and our acquisition of foxytunes, maker of the popular music toolbar plugin. today we launched zimbra 5.0, a next generation e-mail and collaboration suite that’s a great milestone in our open platform and starting point strategies. and stay tuned for exciting announcements next week at the mobile world congress.

as we look to build on the progress we’ve been making, i want to make sure you all realize how essential you are to yahoo!’s success. as this process moves forward, we’re going to keep you informed. your hard work and strong commitment are more important now than ever before.


Subject: Building on my fortune

Employees of Yahoo,

Thanks for pretending to focus on work in between sending out your resumes and returning headhunter calls. We know the fax machines are out of toner and are looking into the matter.

As you may know, Microsoft has offered to acquire the entire company for $31. That’s significantly more than our shareholders think we’re worth because, at this point, those guys hate us. We will consider Microsoft’s offer in the context of our many terrible strategic options and our fruitless restructuring plan (note: I may have called this a growth plan last time we spoke).

As mentioned, our strategic options are manifold and we have made some really tough decisions recently, coming to the conclusion that we need to focus on our home page, our search engine, as well as our communication products like email and IM. This represents a new direction for a company that has historically been characterized by its home page, search engine, email, and IM products. So it will take some time for investors to recognize the transformation of the company.

Please know that I value all of you to the tune of almost $2bn (my current holdings). You, our (remaining and less talented) employees are our greatest and (only remaining) asset. So keep up the mediocre work! I promise to update you when my rich friends and I have decided your fate.

The Yang

ps just for disambiguation sake, I do not have a gambling problem. It’s only a problem if you lose.

Editor’s note: This was written early Wednesday before we had seen the daringfireball version. Also, unlike that version, ours isn’t terrible.

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  1. February 7th, 2008 | 11:22 pm

    Thanks for this. Yang teed it up for daringfireball , which managed to whiff. Glad somebody got to knock the cover off it.

  2. HarlemHaberdasher
    February 8th, 2008 | 9:12 pm

    Juggles is a better write than Jerry. Also, glad to see good content returning to the site. I was beginning to ponder taking my commissions elsewhere…