Marissa Mayer takes Yahoo back to the... past
The Yahoo CEO’s (hypothetical) internal memo, responding to the “no telecommuting” announcement
Image credit: REUTERS/Bradley C Bower
YAHOO PROPRIETARY AND CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION — DO NOT FORWARD
In light of the strong response to yesterday’s announcement that we’re asking all telecommuters to now work in Yahoo offices, I thought I should follow up to clarify the reasons for this decision and to show how it fits into a larger goal that we’ve developed to help Yahoo regain its mojo.
As Jackie said in her memo, we need to be working side-by-side on a daily basis. But, more than that, we also need to stop being so distracted by the modern world so that we can focus on making Yahoo all that it can really be. That’s why the end of telecommuting is just one part of a multifaceted plan that I’ve come up with to lead us into the future by taking us back into the past.
I’ve decided that, in addition to requiring everyone to work in the office, we will also be implementing the following policies before the end of 2013 (I was going to wait to announce these but, what the hey?):
Plain clothing dress code - Fancy, fashionable clothes only encourage vanity and overconfidence, not to mention lust and office romance, which will only distract us from our business goals. Starting in July, all Yahoo men will be required to wear plain collared shirts, khaki slacks and suspenders. All women will be required to wear to ankle length dresses or skirts, long sleeves and head coverings. Also, no makeup, perfumes or jewelry, aside from wedding bands. So, fellas, use up the last of that Axe body spray now!
Plain computers - Except for the small number of employees who absolutely need it to complete a business task, starting in August all other Yahoo employees will be issued new computers without Internet access. In addition, your new computer will only support word processing, spreadsheets and project management software, and will not support audio, video, games, photos or anything else remotely resembling fun - just the way Bill Gates originally meant your PC to be.
Phone shanties - To further reduce needless distraction, starting in September, all cell phones and desktop phones will be banned from Yahoo offices. For those who absolutely, positively need to make a phone call during business hours, we will provide phone shanties, strategically placed on the Yahoo campus. Heads up: they’ll be of the rotary, payphone variety, so start saving your quarters now!
Energy independence - To protect Yahoo from being at the whim of outside forces as much as possible (and to save a few bucks), we plan, by October, to disengage ourselves from the energy grid. For example, instead of email, all interoffice communication will be done by pneumatic tubes. I’ve also directed our IT operations staff to begin converting our data centers to hydraulic power and, to generate what little electricity we’ll need, we’ll use giant hamster wheels powered by interns. Our creativity shall no longer be bounded by the lack of alternating (or even direct) current!
Travel via horse and buggy - Starting in November, for those who need to travel for work, or even to commute, you will be required to use a horse and buggy. Since you will no longer have a cell phone (or a radio or air conditioning) to distract you while driving, you can use the extra commuting time (not to mention the smell of horse droppings) to clear your head of impure thoughts and think about how best to meet your next deadline.
No more corporate parties - Needless to say, office parties are a waste of time, money and, as I think we can all attest from past experiences, somebody’s dignity. To that end, starting in December, we will no longer sponsor or support frivolous social events on company time or property. However, we do still recognize the need for community gatherings to boost morale so the annual Yahoo holiday party will be replaced with a good old fashioned barn raising. Those of you not handy with tools can work in the kitchen to help make the community meal of scrapple, apple juice and pie.
By now, some of you may have noticed that, in formulating these new policies, I’ve taken a page or three from the Amish playbook. I figure, heck, they’ve been around a lot longer than Google, Facebook or (I’m pretty sure) even Microsoft, so I think they know what they’re doing when it comes to building a sustainable business plan.
Besides, only by actively trying to live in the past can we move confidently into a future where, God willing, we will relive the past - you know, when things were better for Yahoo.
As I see it, until now, Yahoo has been experiencing its own rumspringa, which is a natural part of life. But now it’s time to grow up - and what better way than by putting on some plain trousers or modest blouses? After you get a taste for these new policies, I think you’ll agree.
There you have it. Have questions? Please feel free to shoot them my way via pneumatic tube.
P.S. Along these lines, you may have also noticed in this memo that we’ve officially dropped the exclamation point from our name, as I feel it’s too “in your face” for the new Yahoo. Please update your email signatures - pardon me, your pneumatic mail signatures - appropriately.
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