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  • diamondcutter297 diamondcutter297 Mar 13, 2013 1:10 PM Flag

    Loose Lips: Yahoo M&A Head Told Employees Company Looking at Two “Significant” and a Half-Dozen Small Buys.

    Just thought I would stir the pot.

    Lost in the sauce of the national work-from-home debate of last week that engulfed all things Yahoo, was a fascinating tidbit that several employees passed on to me from a recent Friday FYI meeting at its Silicon Valley HQ.

    At the gathering, CEO Marissa Mayer talked briefly about the new telecommuting arrangements for some staffers, including the controversial new work-from-home memo that HR head Jackie Reses had issued that day.

    But when Reses — who also wears another corporate hat as head of M&A at Yahoo — spoke she mentioned to the crowd that Yahoo was working on two “significant” acquisitions and about six smaller talent “acqhires.”

    “It was kind of odd to telegraph it in such a big forum,” said one employee of Reses’ comments at the meeting in late February.

    The revelation was unusual, to be sure, but perhaps not a surprise, given the recent run-up in Yahoo stock, its healthy cash position and, most of all, its need to add meaningful growth to the current efforts at turnaround.

    And while some of its recent buys have been interesting and focused on improving its moribund mobile efforts, they have also been very small. And, as one high-ranking exec there told me, they “don’t move the needle in the way we need to in bringing in senior talent or loads of users or serious revenue.”

    Indeed, while Yahoo shares have benefited greatly from the impressive performance by Alibaba Group in China, which is clearly on a roll, many think that showing actual improvement in its core business will be critical in the months ahead.

    While making changes to Yahoo’s homepage and email, as well as cutting products, has been done, it is not yet clear what the impact is; the changes are aimed more at holding on to consumers rather than exciting them with new offerings.

    Yahoo could also create its own new products to wow the masses, but that has been harder for it over the years. (Remember Livestand? Yeah, not so much.) In any case, an innovation

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