Yahoo Releases Memo to Reassure, Confuse Employees

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With all kinds of uncertainty surrounding the future of Yahoo, it’s not surprising that the bosses want to send a message to everyone that everything is in hand, that there is a plan, and that everyone should just relax and everything will be fine. What is surprising is just how confusing that message ended up being.

A leaked memo from chairman Roy Bostock and co-founders Jerry Yang and David Filo that attempts to outline priorities for Yahoo moving forward explains that the company’s board has hired Allen & Co. to help develop new ideas to better serve users while simultaneously entertaining offers from potential suitors that have expressed interest in Yahoo. So… Yahoo is apparently both expanding and selling part of itself off…?

(MORE: Report: Yahoo to Be Broken Up, Sold For Parts?)

The memo repeats twice that there is no actual news to report: “We don’t have specific news to share with you today, but we are committed to communicating with you directly from time to time,” it begins, and later adds, “At this point, we cannot offer many specifics about the Board’s review; we’ve just gotten started.” Got that? No specifics yet! Stop asking!

However, the memo reports that the company really is looking for a new CEO, and that the future for the company requires Yahoo to “accelerate innovation, reignite inspiration, and give our users what they want now” as well as, “most importantly, [needing] to anticipate what they will want next.” In other words, fairly generic and obvious stuff.

As inspiration for the Yahoo masses, it’s not that successful. Not only does it offer no specifics, it also implies that innovation and inspiration have been in short supply for some time. But as more fuel for the speculation fire, it’s a masterpiece. Here’s hoping there are more of these memos to come.

MORE: Former Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz: ‘These People F—ed Me Over’


Graeme McMillan is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @Graemem or on Facebook at Facebook/Graeme.McMillan. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.