Yang addresses the faithful (and the other Yahoo employees, too)Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang has written two letters in response to Carl Icahn's attempt to take over Yahoo's board. One addresses Yahoo employees and the other its senior management. Neither feature capitalization. Both suggest Carl Icahn's move to take over Yahoo's board "reflects a significant misunderstanding of the facts," which as Yang see's them are that he and Yahoo's board responded to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's merger proposal with "diligence" as well as "knowledge, experience and commitment." Funny how Yahoo's largest shareholders seem to disagree. Both of Yang's letters are copied below.

To: all-worldwide@yahoo-inc.com
From: Jerry
Subject: today's news
yahoos,

today carl icahn announced his intent to nominate a slate of ten directors to take control of our board of directors at this year's annual meeting. we sent him a letter in response, which we made public in a press release. i'm attaching a copy of that press release, including the full text of our letter, and you should read it carefully.

we always want to hear the views of our stockholders, but you should know that mr. icahn's letter reflects a significant misunderstanding of the facts about the microsoft proposal and the diligence with which our board evaluated and responded to that proposal. we believe our board has the independence, knowledge, experience and commitment to maximize value for all of our stockholders. yahoo! is a great company with a truly unique set of highly-valuable assets that is growing, profitable and executing well on its strategic plan to enhance our leadership position in online advertising. our solid results for the first quarter of 2008 are a testament to this.

today's events will undoubtedly draw a lot of media attention and there will be lots of speculation about what happens next for yahoo!. i ask all of you to put aside the rumors and speculation and stay focused on the business at hand and what we do best — transforming the online experiences of our users, advertisers, publishers and developers.

i know you all have a lot of questions and so i've also attached some faqs that will address some of your questions. as we've said before we'll do our best to continue to update you as new information becomes available. thank you again for your continued hard work as we work together to make yahoo! a stronger leader in the online marketplace and an even better company.

jerry

FAQs

Can stockholders nominate directors to the board?
Stockholders, as equity owners of the Company, have the ability to nominate one or more directors for election to a board at the Company's annual meeting as long as they comply with the requirements contained in our bylaws. Under our bylaws, today was the last day that a stockholder could nominate a candidate for director.

How long will all this take?
We can't speculate on how events will develop at this time, but we plan to hold our annual meeting in a couple of months.

I'd ask all of you to stay focused on the business at hand and what we do best — transforming the experiences of our users, advertisers, publishers and developers, all while enhancing our leadership position in the online marketplace.

What's our next step?
We will file preliminary proxy materials with the SEC that will describe the matters to be voted on, including the Company's nominees for election to the board, and the board's recommendation. Once those materials are cleared by the SEC, we will mail them to our stockholders.

In the meantime, we should remain focused on doing what we do best — transforming the experiences of our users, advertisers, publishers and developers, all while enhancing our leadership position in the online marketplace.

We will continue to update you as information becomes available but please remember that we are subject to various legal restrictions on what we can say and when we can say it. What can employees do?

We ask you to continue to put aside all rumors and speculation you may be hearing. None of us should allow external reports to shift our focus away from doing what we do best — transforming the experiences of our users, advertisers, publishers and developers, all while enhancing our leadership position in the online marketplace.


Jerry's letter to his top execs:
To: all-svps-and-above@yahoo-inc.com From: Jerry Subject: our response to carl icahn leaders,
as you know, carl icahn today announced his intention to nominate 10 directors to take control of our board of directors at our 2008 annual meeting. this afternoon we issued our response to mr. icahn and are sending an email to all employees updating them on these recent developments. a copy of our response, including the letter to mr. icahn, is attached. i urge you to read it.

as we outline in our letter, we believe our independent board has more than demonstrated the fact that it has the knowledge, experience and commitment to maximize value for all yahoo! stockholders. i will be scheduling a call with you soon. in the meantime please find below some talking points for you to use with your teams.

jerry

Talking Points
  • Carl Icahn today announced his intention to nominate 10 directors to take control of our board of directors at our 2008 annual meeting.

  • We believe much of what Mr. Icahn said today reflects a significant misunderstanding of the facts about how hard our independent board has worked—and continues to work—to maximize stockholder value. We believe our independent board has the knowledge, experience and commitment to maximize value for all Yahoo! stockholders.

  • Soon, we will file preliminary proxy materials with the SEC that will describe the matters to be voted on at the annual meeting, including the Company's nominees for election to our board of directors, and the board's recommendation. Once those materials are cleared by the SEC, we will mail them to our stockholders.

  • Stockholders, as equity owners of the Company, have the ability to nominate one or more directors for election to the board at the Company's annual meeting as long as they comply with the notice requirements contained in our bylaws. Under our bylaws, today was the last day that a stockholder could nominate a candidate for director.

  • All Yahoo! stockholders of record as of the closed of business on June 3, 2008, the record date for the annual meeting, are entitled to vote on the election of directors at the annual meeting of stockholders
  • There will be lots of media attention and speculation about what happens next for Yahoo! We ask that you put the rumors and speculation aside and stay focused on the business at hand. We are at a very important time in our Company's history.

  • Yahoo! is strategically positioned for accelerating growth and profitability because of our powerful combination of assets: our global brand and scale, unmatched audiences, global leadership in online advertising, strategic positions in Asia, leadership in mobile and emerging markets, and world-class people and technology.

  • The Company continues to execute well against its strategic and financial plan.

  • Our board has explored and continues to explore a variety of strategic alternatives and remains committed to considering any alternative intended to maximize stockholder value.

  • We'll do our best to continue to update you as new information becomes available but please remember we are subject to various legal restrictions on what we can say and when we can say it as we work through this situation.

  • Thank you again for your continued hard work.