Tuesday, 17 June 2008


Some of the recent coverage about increasingly desperate moves by Yahoo! not to be absorbed by Microsoft has been very good indeed.

I think TechCrunch has been on the money with their sceptical view of the tie up with Google and general lack of patience with the Yahoo! management team's increasingly bizarre turns to avoid Microsoft. In the link above, TechCrunch references a New York Times article which delivers a stinging attack on Jerry Yang and his dis-respect for his shareholders.

The main premise is that this stopped being Yang's company when it went public in 1996 and this is a fundamental truth which for over ten years has not mattered as, by and large, Yang's approach has chimed with the majority of his independent shareholders.

There is an interesting schism in Yahoo! between the Engineers who would rather cut their heart out with a rusty teaspoon than be bought by Microsoft and the rest, who could not wait for the payoff that the price represented. This latter group were also representative of the shareholding class for whom the Microsoft deal represented a pretty good out.

I was reflecting the other day on which companies that are household names would still be around in ten or fifteen years when my sons begin to think about the working place - I honestly believe that if I were to mention Yahoo! I would have been flipped a "Ya-who?". All Yang has done has opted for a slower death and a less reumunerative deal for his shareholders.

Being the top dog is a tough job but in this matter heart has ruled the head and he'll come to regret it I think.

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