As spectators of the Yahoo-Microsoft-Google-AOL marital fight, the employees at Yahoo might have the worst seats in the house.
Not only are Yahoo's rank-and-file still undergoing reorganization after the company's layoffs two months ago, but they're also having to endure constant self-help messages from management whenever there's bad news in the media about Yahoo. (And that's fairly often these days.)
According to one Yahoo employee, executives regularly send internal communications restating that Yahoo is "doing the right thing" and is more valuable by remaining an independent company.
That message is generally positive, but the frequency and reactive quality of it causes some employees to wonder whether managers believe the notion themselves. And some employees lost confidence in the idea this week, after Yahoo said it would test Google's search advertisements in place of its own.
"We blinked and got in bed with one of our biggest competitors. How does that back up the idea of what a great, independent company we are?" according to one Yahoo employee, who asked to remain anonymous.
"That news got the big eye roll," the source added.
What's more, Yahoo is still trying to reorganize the deck chairs in its units, following layoffs of more than 10 percent of its staff in February. One source inside Yahoo said it's not uncommon for executives to hold planning meetings for follow-up planning meetings, Dilbert-style. That bureaucracy could cause more Yahoo talent to leave for opportunities elsewhere.
"There's a lot of pent-up creativity," the source said. "Morale is in the sh**ter."