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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

May 18, 2007 at 10:29 AM

aQuantive employees meet with the new boss

Hundreds of aQuantive employees traveled from the company’s Pioneer Square headquarters this morning to Bell Harbor Conference Center for a meeting with Microsoft Division President Kevin Johnson.

They were expecting to hear more from Johnson and aQuantive CEO Brian McAndrews on the $6 billion acquisition of their company.

I stopped one employee to ask a bit about the mood of the troops.

“It’s still a little bit of a new thing,” said Bob Lovestedt, a seven-year aQuantive veteran. “I mean it’s been rumored about for years. Not a huge surprise with everything going on elsewhere with the other acquisitions.”

Microsoft’s acquisition comes on the heels of three other transactions in digital media recently.

I asked him if there’s any trepidation among aQuantive employees about joining Microsoft.

“Oh sure, but you know, it’s too early to tell. We’ll have to listen to what’s being said and we’ll see where we go from here,” Lovestedt said.

Employees were certainly thrilled to see the impact of the acquisition, an all-cash deal worth roughly twice aQuantive’s market value yesterday, on the company’s stock price.

“When you see your stock double in price, you’re pretty excited,” Lovestedt said. “Once sort of the initial euphoria wears off than you’re starting to think, ‘Well, what about me?’ And what’s going to happen. As I say, the management team is great and aQuantive has always cared about its employees and I think things are going to work out just fine.”

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