Acquisition Day

05/18/07

So as most know by now, my parent company aQuantive was acquired by Microsoft Friday for a total of $6 billion, the largest acquisition in the software giant’s history. Rather than discuss the business-implications of that, here’s what it was like in the Seattle office once the news hit.

My phone wakes me up. I roll over to look at my clock, suddenly wondering if I had overslept and missed a–hm. No, still early.

I stumble over to my phone and watch it vibrate on my desk. It blinks a co-worker’s name and I pick it up. “Did you hear?” he says, “Microsoft bought our company!”

I reply something, “Oh crazy… um, what’s the stock price at?”

I try to going back to bed, but then get up to satisfy my curiosity. “Market must be going crazy,” I think to myself, “stock’s gotta be up like $5 or something”.

Open Google Finance. Stare at screen. Blink. Hit refresh. Repeat. Repeat.

OMG.

Several phone calls, text messages, and IM’s later, I finally get Ryan on the phone.

“Have you heard!? Go online, go look at aQuantive.”

I take next bus into office, where folks are a bit in a tizzy, “Welcome to Microsoft,” folks say jokingly as people come in the doors.

“Be downstairs at 9:30AM,” the e-mail instructs. News of shuttles outside. Everyone in the hallways speculating, unsure, excited, and hesitant.

A group of us opt to walk instead of shuttle. It was a sunny day. So we walk 20 minutes to the waterfront where a conference center had been booked for the announcement. As we file into the building, we spot news cameras along the stairs. So so surreal.

Inside there is so much energy. And a line for free pastries and coffee. Our CEO walks on stage, everyone starts screaming, several guys yell “I love you!”. Lots of giddy folks.

The Microsoft President of Platforms and Services walks on stage, talks of “intelligent machines at the edge of the network”, or something. People are busy giving each other glances, some grinning, heads down at their now exploding Blackberries. Brief Q&A.

Walk back to office for another an Avenue A | Razorfish-specific Q&A with Clark.

Return to desk. It’s noon.

My team goes out for sushi. And then the office is empty. Folks are likewise out at lunch, or at a bar, and for the rest of the afternoon, just generally away from the office.

One crazy crazy day.

    • M Prins
    • June 6th, 2007 5:59am

    Jamiey this is only the start of the craziness! There will be real opportunities and some disappointments . It will be interesting to see how MS does acquisitions. We will talk in a year.

    • val yo
    • June 10th, 2007 1:09am

    I commented on your facebook post for this… it’s not that exciting though, really (my post, not the aquisition)

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