Management Turnover as Change Agent

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

CEO Watch - Jerry Yang, Yahoo

The rumors are beginning to fly now that Microsoft has walked away from Yahoo. Today Zachary Kouwe wrote a piece in the NY Post entitled, Investors May Yank Yang, Filo over Dough. According to the story,
Several hedge funds with large positions in Yahoo! have written letters to the board and to Yahoo! President Sue Decker explaining their displeasure at how Microsoft's hostile offer was mishandled, sources close to the funds said.

Shareholders are particularly irked that Yang and co-founder David Filo negotiated with Microsoft last weekend without any representative from the board or their advisers.
The dance is probably not over with Microsoft. For now, Yang will need to find ways to convince shareholders Yahoo can turn itself around, a tall order. According to an AP story on MSNBC Yang is still open to working out a deal with Microsoft.
If Microsoft returned with a “real offer and a real proposal,” Yang said, “we would be happy to listen.”

Yang figures to get an earful from irate shareholders at the annual meeting. Yahoo finally set the meeting for July 3 after indefinitely postponing it in early spring as part of its effort to foil a possible hostile takeover attempt by Microsoft.

Now it may be Yahoo’s shareholders who try to oust Yang and the rest of Yahoo’s board instead of Ballmer, who had threatened an attempt to dump the 10 directors if they didn’t accept Microsoft’s offer.
Reuters Deal Zone quotes The New York Times and Wall Street Journal,
“I am extremely angry at Jerry Yang and at the so-called independent board,” Crawford told the Times. ”I’m hoping that there is such an outpouring of outrage that the board is embarrassed into revisiting this thing … but I’m not optimistic about that.”
I don't think Yang is on the way out but we will just have to wait and see how this all plays out.

For more:

International Herald Tribune

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