How Ballmer Calms His Troops

By Deb Perelman  |  Posted 2008-02-06 Print this article Print

Typically, conversations about sales or acquisitions at companies take plae behind closed door. The organizations themselves are not at liberty to discuss their dealings, and even when they are, fear of unnecessarily alarming their employees--"Today we talked about closing overlapping divisions and laying off hundreds, but I'm sure it's not going to be in the final arrangement, so don't worry!"--makes them choose not to.

Unfortunately, this non-disclosure isn't always received positively by employees. In the vacuum of information, stress and frustration mounts as they want to know what is going on but feel they are being kept out of the loop. Mostly, they want to know that their jobs will be safe.

In an email leaked to TechCrunch, readers got a peek what Microsoft's CEO told employees about their Feb. 1 bid for Yahoo, and from the looks of it, Ballmer handled it like a pro.

In it note, Ballmer lays out the rational for the bid, gives credit to the work Microsoft has already done in the space, so not to undermine employee accomplishments, and even promises a soft landing for incoming Yahoos, surely a big concern.

"Through our recent acquisitions of aQuantive and Tellme, we understand what it takes to successfully integrate new talent, assets, and infrastructure into our company. Leaders from both Microsoft and Yahoo! will work together closely on the integration process to ensure that we are thoughtful about the questions we ask and the decisions we make," Ballmer writes in the email.

So the obvious question is: What did Yahoo's employee memo sound like? Do you think they ever had one? |

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