Though it shouldn’t be a surprise that when one of the biggest tech companies in the world makes a hostile bid on another that the employees of each organization may be left a little unsettled, it is rare that such a sentiment makes it into a SEC filing. Yet this is exactly what Yahoo stated in its Feb. 27 annual report:
“The review and consideration of the Microsoft proposal (and any alternate proposals that may be made by other parties) have been, and may continue to be, a significant distraction for our management and employees and have required, and may continue to require, the expenditure of significant time and resources by us,” the filing reads.
Furthermore, Yahoo feels that Microsoft’s Jan. 31 unsolicited bid has posed a recruiting and retention threat, as well, as nervous employees might expedite their plans to work elsewhere, and be difficult to replace in the office climate.
“Microsoft’s unsolicited acquisition proposal has also created uncertainty for our employees and this uncertainty may adversely affect our ability to retain key employees and to hire new talent.”
Of course, not all argue that it is Microsoft that is causing itchy feet in the Yahoo work force. Prior to the Microsoft bid, Yahoo shuffled a lot of executive chairs before posting record-low fourth-quarter earnings; shortly after, it laid off 1,000 workers. Since rejecting the Microsoft bid, Yahoo has been sued by seven shareholders, and more are likely to come.
Perhaps it’s just easier to blame the Microsoft bid for workers’ eyes on the door.