Yahoo! LogoIt’s not big news that Yahoo is facing some significant challenges. Even if everything was roses for the search engine company the very fact that another company like Microsoft is looking to buy them out is going to make for some tough going for the good folks who work for Yahoo.

Been There, Done That

Event though I use Google products and services way more than those of Yahoo, I feel for the good people at Yahoo. I’ve been down that “the company I’m working for is being bought out road” my self. It isn’t very much fun. I was in the maritime industry, not the tech field at the time.
Microsoft Logo

9-11 hit the transportation sector pretty hard. The company I was working for was on a shaky financial footing anyway and the couple lean years after that day was simply too much to for the company to endure.

Rough times have a very Darwinistic way of weeding out inefficient companies.

Anyway the primary objective of the corporate senior executives was to keep the rest of us producing for the company as long as possible so the sale could bring the highest price possible. I seriously considered leaving before things got ugly but my wife and I talked about it and and we agreed I should stick it out.

Part of that decision was based on what we were being told by corporate. In our case it was basically that we were all going to be absorbed into the new company and their management would keep the best employees from the combined group. The new management even “interviewed” each of us towards the end and told us that same thing.

Since I’d been with the company long enough to see several of our former cast-offs get hired over there I knew my competition pretty well and was confident in my ability to win my place on the new team.

Except it was a lie.

They didn’t want the best of us. They only wanted the cheapest. Those of us who brought the most proven ability to the table were all sent packing in the end in favor of the already established players regardless of competence.

A Recurring Story

Since my own experience I’ve seen the same story replay in the lives of various friends of mine. It rarely goes well for the employees of the company being purchased.

MicroHoo LogoThe company doing the buying will almost invariably keep their own employees over those with the bought company. And they probably should.

It just chaps me when they shine everyone on. For example check out a couple of choice quotes from a recent AP story titled Microsoft Says It Won’t Uproot Yahoo

While some overlap is expected in any combination of this size, we should remember that Microsoft is a growth company that has hired over 20,000 people since 2005, and we would look to place talented employees throughout the company as a whole.

Um, yeah. I don’t believe it.

Realistically they’ll protect their share price by reducing every redundancy as quickly as possible. The simple solution is to just axe the “new” people that are redundant.

Then there’s this juicy sentence.

No Microsoft employee should reach out to Yahoo employees for the purpose of integration planning unless specifically instructed to do so.

Translation: “Don’t talk to the folks at Yahoo because we need them to stay working as long as possible until we can figure which positions we can most afford do away with. Don’t mess it up for us.”

Bottom Line

It’s much easier to find a job when you have a job rather than waiting until you’re out on the street. If they offer a severance package I’d take it and run.

Odds are good that if you don’t you may end up without a job anyway.

But that’s just my two cents.


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