So, why not just distribute the Alibaba shares and let people deal with paying taxes? That would be considered a taxable dividend to Yahoo and further taxable to its shareholders, Mayer said, resulting in a “lack of efficiency” the company is trying to avoid. (Yet, how do you weigh that “inefficiency” versus the overall drag this is taking on Yahoo?)

Why not sell outright? In what sounded like a pre-written response to an obvious question, Yahoo chairman Maynard Webb said there is “no determination by the board to sell the company or any part of it.” (In non-spinoff news, Yahoo director Max Levchin, former Google executive and PayPal co-founder, is leaving the board.)

Yahoo is focused on unlocking value by spinning off the Alibaba stake and “transforming operational businesses,” Webb said. That is, Mayer’s turnaround effort—a focus on mobile and video, digital “magazines,” buying Tumblr, Katie Couric, etc.—which has resulted in some growth but not enough to offset the rest of the company’s decline. Yahoo promised an update on its 2016 strategy on its next earnings call, expected in January.

Investors are still digesting the news. Yahoo shares are up less than 1% in early trading.

📬 Sign up for the Daily Brief

Our free, fast, and fun briefing on the global economy, delivered every weekday morning.