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What to do about Yahoo!


Image representing Yahoo! as depicted in Crunc...

Some of you may have been reading about Yahoo! in recent weeks. C0-founder Jerry Yang stepped down, citing he wants “to pursue other interests”. That isn’t too unreasonable. He is worth over $1 Billion dollars in a down global economy, and he is a smart guy, so getting into other things after being with a company for 17 years should be allowed. But how has he left that company to fair for itself?

It seems the greatest gift Mr. Yang gave to Yahoo! in recent memory has been his departure. Often battle-worn CEOs stay around their companies for too long, and can lose the fresh, innovative and dynamic fervor that launched them into Fortune 500 power and in this case, “Internet Immortality”. He certainly gets credit for being one of the main creators of the world’s first major, monetized and profitable internet search directory – that’s what they were called in 1999. Though, it can also be stated that his rejection of a $50 Billion offer from Microsoft was a tad, ridiculous. It is documented that he was adamantly opposed to the takeover bid, but might that have been something good for the shareholders? (Yes)

In the capitalist society that we live in, as a CEO, you have got to have the awareness that time is of the essence, windows of opportunity come and go faster than new designs for Intel chips, and when a company comes around offering to double your price, and leave all of those invested with a overwhelming feeling of satisfaction and certainty that they made the right decision to invest, it is your job to make it happen! Funny thing is, Mr. Yang stated that he is “enthusiastic” that Yahoo! will be guided into an “exciting and successful future”. Do you think he realizes that if they return to their massive market share of the early 2000s, that his successor will probably just pull a dump and run himself? Perhaps he left because he knows the sale of his internet love-child was inevitable.

Honestly, in the world of Tech Business, mergers and acquisitions happen more often than in Finance. If the price plummets anymore, any number of companies with better balance sheets and more cash stand to make a solid claim for a stake – or all – of Yahoo! before it fades into the archives of Wikipedia. Microsoft, Google, even Amazon, Ebay, or perhaps Facebook, are all headed by pretty smart executives who could easily make good use of Yahoo! and it’s assets and market share, though it may be minimal at this point. And if it’s pennies on the dollar, anything could happen. 3 months ago, it was reported that Microsoft might be bringing another proposal to the table, and Mr. Yang will not be seated for dinner.

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