After a weekend full of rampant speculation, Verizon finally confirmed this morning that it had reached an agreement to purchase Yahoo’s core business for $4.8 billion (£3.7 billion).
The press release itself was peppered with various details. The deal doesn’t include Yahoo’s cash, Alibaba shares, or shares in Yahoo Japan, for instance. Yahoo will also continue to operate independently until early 2017, and then the company will eventually be folded into Verizon, along with AOL. However, there was one detail that was conspicuously absent: a definitive answer on the fate of CEO Marissa Mayer.
Her future at Yahoo has been in flux for some time, and the sale process only strengthened those questions. In a note sent to employees after the deal became official, however, Mayer suggested she was staying on.
“For me personally, I’m planning to stay,” she wrote. “I love Yahoo, and I believe in all of you. It’s important to me to see Yahoo into its next chapter.”
But according to Verizon executive and new Yahoo boss Marni Walden, the leadership chart is still being hashed out, and Mayer’s role—whatever it might be, if anything at all—is unclear. The deal, as Forbes not-so-delicately put it, is “the saddest $5 billion deal in tech history.” It wasn’t long ago that Yahoo was once worth around $125 billion (£95 billion), and had an offer from Microsoft to buy its business for nearly $45 billion (£34 billion).