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AOL CEO Armstrong’s Yahoo memo: ‘We’ll work closely with Marissa’

ICE Graveyard 25/07/2016 Ingrid Lunden

Today Verizon confirmed that it plans to acquire Yahoo’s core assets — search, advertising and content, along with Yahoo’s Sunnyvale real estate — for $4.83 billion in cash. That business will in turn be combined with AOL, which Verizon acquired last year for $4.4 billion. Whether Marissa Mayer, the CEO of Yahoo, will be coming to Verizon too is not yet clear, since her role was not specified in the deal terms, from what we understand (and Mayer herself doesn’t indicate anything specific, either). However the CEO of AOL today issued an internal memo that confirmed she and the leadership team will be working with her on the deal up to the close — expected in Q1 2017 — along with other details. The full text is below:
AOLers –
We promised you a year ago that AOL and Verizon would aggressively work to build a mobile media company capable of touching billions of consumers and becoming one of the top companies in the world in the digital media industry. Today, we are delivering on that promise. This morning, Verizon is announcing our intent to acquire Yahoo, one of the most powerful and largest scaled digital brands in the world. 
Yahoo is a powerful platform for global consumers and has an incredibly talented global team. Together AOL and Yahoo, mobilized by the power of Verizon, will instantly create an entity reaching over 1B people with an unrivaled roster of the world’s most powerful brands. We are charting the course to our 2020 goals of reaching 2 billion consumers and today’s deal is a major and important milestone in that journey. 
The deal will get major coverage and you will read many theories on the potential outcomes of the deal – we are working in an important space on important things. We won’t do everything perfectly and that is not our goal. Our goal is to take a growth mindset to this deal and to our ability to invent and learn. We have clear goals and a clear mission and we will figure out how to reach those goals by being differentiated, creative, taking risks, and working really hard.   
We expect the transaction to close between the end of Q4 2016 and the end of Q1 2017. During the time before close, we will be working closely with Marissa and the Yahoo leadership team to plan our future strategy based on the scale of our portfolio. At AOL, it is business as usual for Q3 and Q4 and you will be involved in building a robust plan for 2017 that includes the scale and team at Yahoo. As we progress in the closing cycle, we will be communicating often and we encourage you to ask questions and to share ideas. 
While we have a tremendous amount of work to do moving forward, we wanted to take a moment to thank our deals team – they have done more big deals in the last 12 months than any other team we know of – and that takes leadership and hard work. To the AOL M&A team led by Mark Roszkowski, in partnership with John Dogherty who leads M&A from Verizon – thank you. Our entire leadership team – on many levels – has been involved in the Yahoo process and as always, teamwork makes the dreamwork. 
Here are some of the reasons why Yahoo is a leading brand in the world and why we are going to do great things together:
– Yahoo Finance is ranked #1 with its unmatched access to financial news and insights
– Yahoo Sports, second only to ESPN, draws 7 million roaring fans every day with live programming, news, real-time scores, and award-winning reporters
– 43 million people start the day with the Yahoo Homepage – a launch point for a $1.4b search business
– Tumblr is home to nearly 300 million blogs that are socialized by over 550 million creators each month
– Flurry brings unmatched app analytics and data to drive better mobile ad campaign results
– Yahoo News is ranked #1 in unique visitors and time spent per visit
– Gemini is a breakthrough native and search ad platform that focuses on increasing ad engagement
– Yahoo adds 165 billion daily data events to our scaled deterministic data sets across devices
We are off on the next leg of our journey and we have a very powerful partner in Yahoo and the team at Yahoo. Stay focused on moving forward and on nailing the second half of 2016. We’ll see you at the all-hands today to discuss the deal. Go AOL – TA

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