Assuming Microsoft is successful in its $44 billion dollar acquisition of Yahoo beyond anti-trust concerns in Washington blocking the deal, a fundamental looming question is one of the apparent cultural divide between the two organizations.
Microsoft’s culture is somewhat internally nurtured, extremely confident and passionately (often to a fault) focused on Windows. Microsoft teams have consistently shown a preference to play in the market based on their own set of rules and although smaller acquisitions have been absorbed without much fanfare in the past, the Yahoo bid is no small feat!
Yahoo has a drastically unique culture, partly due to it’s origins in Silicon Valley, but also largely due to its much younger workforce, their highly decentralized and considerably more collaborative mindset, and approach to market challenges and opportunities. Yahoo leaders approach the file & rank as a peer not the boss; it’s a culture of trust vs. command and control; they aim to be inspirational vs. simply powerful; collaborative vs. directive; in many of their efforts, the behind the scenes asset vs. front & center in the spotlight; ambiguity and connectivity often ruling over order and organizing. As Rod Beckstrom in his book, The Starfish and The Spider highlights, Yahoo is an example of a highly decentralized organism. Merge that blindly with a traditional command and control model which characterizes Microsoft and you’re surely headed for Flight Risk™ of your most valuable talent!
What do you think?