As Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer continues to obsess over buying Yahoo, Yahoo's Jerry Yang might have an unlikely ally in his desire to stop the deal in its tracks: Microsoft employees.
A Wall Street Journal article today, April 24, reports that some Microsoft rank-and-file workers say they're skeptical about the deal. Their unrest is focused in two areas, the article said: People in Microsoft's online services group are worried about their future and people in other divisions feel that the resources devoted to trying to rope a reluctant Yahoo into the deal are taking away from other pressing challenges.
What pressing challenges? Well, the lukewarm reception of Vista, of course. Microsoft has a lot of work to do to get back in the good graces of CIOs, and the wallets of CFOs, and these employees are worried that Yahoo will only be a further setback.
Of course, negative employee sentiment will not get Microsoft to forgo its plan to buy Yahoo. In every buyout, there are employees rightfully concerned about their future. Yet Henry Blodget at Silicon Alley Insider finds a connection between Microsoft's stock prices and the likelihood of the Yahoo deal, suggesting that it's not just Microsoft employees--but also shareholders--that believe the bid is distracting the company.
"When Microsoft announced its bid, its stock dropped, and every time cracks appear in the deal, its stock rises. We think some Microsoft shareholders agree with us that a Yahoo acquisition will be a disaster, and we think others just think it's an unnecessary waste of $44 billion," wrote Blodget.
Of course, the odds of employees or shareholders keeping Ballmer from his obsession are slim.
"'This is Ballmer's war,'" BoomTown's Kara Swisher said a Microsoft employee told her, "'I doubt he will surrender.'"