Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang told its employees yesterday that he's still examining ways to thwart a takeover by Microsoft:
"Our board is thoughtfully evaluating a wide range of potential strategic alternatives in what is a complex and evolving landscape," Yang wrote in an e-mail. He emphasized no decision had been made on Microsoft's six-day-old bid, initially valued at $44.6 billion, or $31 per share.
Yang, who helped conceive Yahoo in 1994, didn't set a timetable for the Sunnyvale-based company's response, writing that the board "is going to take the time it needs to do it right."
Most of Wednesday's e-mail, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, tried to cheer up Yahoo's employees, many of whom are likely to lose their jobs in the months ahead, one way or the other.
Yahoo already has drawn up plans to trim 1,000 jobs from a 14,300-employee payroll in an effort to boost its sagging profits. The layoffs are expected to be even more severe if Microsoft devours the company because about $1 billion in expenses would be cut in a takeover. And if Yahoo were to eschew Microsoft in favor of a debt-laden leveraged buyout, about 4,500 employees could be fired, estimated Stifel Nicolaus analyst George Askew.