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Finally, Diller Gets the Message

By Timothy J. Mullaney

CULTURE CLASH. The problem for the combined IAC wasn't just numbers. From the start, Expedia's culture -- built on fast growth fueled by liberal doses of stock options and its origins as a division of Microsoft (MSFT ) -- was a bad fit with Diller's top-down management style. Many employees didn't welcome the acquisition, and some told Diller as much during a face-to-face meeting near Expedia's headquarters in August, 2002, when Diller was out to become their new boss. Nor did it help when IAC scrapped options in early 2003 for smaller bundles of restricted stock.

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