If you were born any time before the late 1990s, you likely remember some of the earliest companies to shape the web into something friendly and easy for consumers to use. Companies like AOL, Yahoo, Lycos, and Netscape helped to tame the nascent world wide web and bring it to consumers in an easily accessible form. Taking a quick look around at the modern business world on the web, it’s quite easy to see that none of those giants exist in the same form, with many of them having either faded into obscurity, gone into other services, been bought out, or outright shut down. The sale of Yahoo’s core assets to Verizon marks the fall of the last great old internet giant; while it will be in the form consumers remember it in to some degree for an undetermined amount of time, it is being integrated into Verizon.
Given Yahoo’s storied history, it only makes sense that its final CEO, Marissa Mayer, would have a few words to say about the company before the final farewells are said. While she was a relative neophyte, coming over from Google in 2012, her passion for the company was made clear with her treatment of the Mavens initiatives, among other things. Her attempts to turn things around even extended to the company’s ill-fated moonshot factory. With insider sources saying that she is likely to bolt after all is said and done, rather than staying and accepting a lower position within Yahoo’s new identity under Verizon, the letter she penned to Yahoo’s 10,000 some odd employees is made all the more poignant.
In the letter, she paints a vivid picture of a Yahoo poised for growth in both value and scale under Verizon, and points to the company’s history as an indication of its promise. She goes on to talk about efforts to streamline and modernize consumer and advertising products, and to make Yahoo more agile so that it wouldn’t fall to the same fate as other “legacy businesses”. “It’s because of that hard work and resilience, that Yahoo will realize amazing opportunities in its next chapter.”, Mayer says of the change. She goes on to talk about the immense passion of the employee base at Yahoo, and how important it is that the company continue to execute its core mission that has stood since the beginning, as well as continuing current strategies through the end of the year. While it’s still only speculation that the letter is indeed a goodbye letter, as far as goodbye letters go, this is certainly a spirited one.