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Yahoo! The Internet Businesses

Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang To Step Down 199

Posted by kdawson
from the dude-where's-my-stock dept.
JagsLive was one of several readers to point out Jerry Yang's departure as Yahoo CEO. He's not leaving the company; he will return to his former role as Chief Yahoo, whatever that entails. Yang has been under fire in recent months from investors for his handling of Microsoft's recent acquisition attempt."Yahoo, under fierce financial pressure, has begun a search to replace company co-founder Jerry Yang as chief executive, the company said Monday. 'Jerry and the board have had an ongoing dialogue about succession timing, and we all agree that now is the right time to make the transition to a new CEO who can take the company to the next level,' Chairman Roy Bostock said in a statement."
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Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang To Step Down

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  • by Armakuni (1091299) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @04:06AM (#25798839) Homepage
    when a company's main goal is to be acquired as soon as possible?
    • And here I thought (Score:3, Insightful)

      by djupedal (584558)
      ...it was to avoid doing the deed w/MS at any cost.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Exactly. This is capitalism at work. In Communist Canada, company sells you.
    • by QuantumG (50515) * <qg@biodome.org> on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @04:49AM (#25799063) Homepage Journal

      Well, in the case of Yahoo, sure, they've already gone public. But for startups? Getting acquired is the dream. You don't have to deal with those bastard accountants, and everyone gets a payout.

      • by Antique Geekmeister (740220) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @07:15AM (#25799729)
        It's the dream for the investors. Employees who don't live near the new corporate offices, or who liked actually getting anything done, or the latest who weren't there long enough to have received options, often wind up really hurt by such corporate purchases.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by QuantumG (50515) *

          Yes, it's a dream for the shareholders. Ya know, the people the company exists to serve?

          • by Antique Geekmeister (740220) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @08:31AM (#25800183)
            Different shareholders have different dreams. And shareholders are hardly the only investors in a company: those who work there have legal rights as well, and may be served better by different corporate strategies. Being purchased by Microsoft, for example, has been the death knell of many companies with valuable products or even profitable businesses.
            • by bberens (965711) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @09:25AM (#25800509)
              Seriously, the company you work for does not exist to enrich your life. It exists to enrich the life of the owner(s). You are paid a stipend to perform labor because the owner(s) believe that your work will further enrich them.
              • Most companies' business plan involves serving their costumers.

                If shareholders like the respective business plan then they invest in the company and share the rewards, but the focus of any company should be costumers: they are the people that make the company viable.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Martin Soto (21440)

            Nope, companies are there for offering goods and services, which means, they should concentrate on serving their customers, not their shareholders. If capitalist principles hold at all, a company that serves its customers well should of course make money, which, in turn, should result in higher returns for the shareholders.

            Saying that companies are there only to serve their shareholders, that is, only to make profits, is just a justification for all sorts of dirty business practices. If all you have to do i

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by timeOday (582209)
              To me it is clear that a company does not exist for one single reason, since most can't exist without customers, employers, and investors; therefore the purposes of the company are to satisfy customers, pay employees, and enrich investors. Of those three, I'd say investors are the least necessary, since a company could grow (however slowly) without borrowing. Bartering certainly predates credit and supported economic development to a certain point.
              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by mccrew (62494)
                I hereby nominate this post for the "Truly Clueless Post of the Day." How this got scored as "4 Interesting" is a head scratcher for another day.

                Of those three, I'd say investors are the least necessary, since a company could grow (however slowly) without borrowing.

                Is it possible to pack more fundamental misunderstanding into a single sentence? I will leave it to others to point out what needs pointing out.

                Wow, just wow.

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by Tubal-Cain (1289912) *

                Of those three, I'd say investors are the least necessary, since a company could grow (however slowly) without borrowing.

                Do you count the founder as an investor? Somebody started the company, and if they did not borrow money, they invested their own. And because they were the only investor, they are the only shareholder (but a shareholder nonetheless).So even if the company does not borrow any money after the founding, they are still responsible for enriching the owner.

                Things like serving your customers well and treating your employees good might not make much money in the short run (maybe even cost you), but they build goodw

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by tftp (111690)

              Saying that companies are there only to serve their shareholders, that is, only to make profits, is just a justification for all sorts of dirty business practices.

              You may not like it, but that's how the world operates. People who invest their money (investors / shareholders) are the primary focus of the company. Customers really exist only to help the company to make money. Anything that is not illegal is allowed and is expected to be done if it furthers the goal of making more money. In fact, if the bus

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by Martin Soto (21440)

                I'm glad to see you got my point completely. Indeed, it is exactly this state of affairs you describe so well that worries me so deeply.

                Anything that is not illegal is allowed and is expected to be done if it furthers the goal of making more money.

                If I'm reading well, what you're implying here is that all ethical and moral concerns you may have about a particular action should be ignored as long as this action increases profits. This is, once again, the logic behind such tragedies as Union Carbide's disaster in Bhopal, India. [wikipedia.org] I'm pretty sure Union Carbide's behavior was not illegal according to Indian law, but I'm al

                • I thought capitalism was supposed to make us all prosperous and happy

                  Mmmm, nope.

                • by T-Ranger (10520)
                  Within the context of a publicly traded company there there is exactly one point of ethics or morality that matters: make the shareholders money.

                  Bitching and complaining about companies doing something that isn't nice is pointless. Its like tripping, breaking your ankle, and then complaining that gravity didn't shut of. Gravity pulls down; deal with it. As a person, buy sensible shoes. As a government, have building and labor codes that require railings and fall-arresting systems.

                  If you want companies to be
                  • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

                    by Martin Soto (21440)

                    Bitching and complaining about companies doing something that isn't nice is pointless. Its like tripping, breaking your ankle, and then complaining that gravity didn't shut of.

                    There's a big difference: gravity is ruled by the laws of nature, company behavior isn't. Actually, companies are nothing else than a bunch of people that have access to certain resources. If I deal with any of these people personally, I expect them to behave morally. Why should I accept that they behave otherwise when representing their company? Just because they have to serve some random stakeholders?

                    Many people seem to think that companies are autonomous beings, with a live and motivations of their own.

            • by uberotto (714173) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @10:13AM (#25800959)
              You seem to be missing a fundamental shift that has occurred in the U.S. and around the world over the last 30 years. You are right, the customer is king and that any companies primary goal should be to serve their customers. And in the case of Yahoo, as well as most other large American corporations that's exactly what they are doing...

              What you are missing is the shift that has occurred as to who exactly the customer is. Now days, for most large corporations the customer is the stock holder. We, the consumers are the product that is being sold. With Yahoo, Google, MSN etc. it's about how many eyeballs they have looking at their pages. For companies such as Ford, GM, Target, WalMart it's all about the size of their consumer base. That's why Ford and GM don't spend a lot of time building cars that tomorrows consumers might want. Their only focus is to build as many of whatever cars the consumer is buying today.

              In this new world, as far as the corporations are concerned we're just a bunch of whores and their all fighting to see who is going to be our pimp.
              • You are right, the customer is king and that any companies primary goal should be to serve their customers.

                The customer wants the world, and he wants it for free (AIBNAIS). Not a sustainable business model.

                Now days, for most large corporations the customer is the stock holder. We, the consumers are the product that is being sold.

                Talking about ad driven businesses the second part is often correct, but the customers are not necessarily the stockholders nor vice versa; it's the advertisers that are the real c

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by onefriedrice (1171917)

                That's why Ford and GM don't spend a lot of time building cars that tomorrows consumers might want. Their only focus is to build as many of whatever cars the consumer is buying today.

                I'm sorry, but the logic doesn't follow. Ford and GM do exist to give a return on stockholder's investments, but going out of business is not in stockholder's interests. Therefore, they are short-sighted and struggling not because of their intention to be profitable now without regard for the future, but simply because they are slow and mismanaged. It's not any more complicated than that.

                Normal rules of capitalism apply: generally, you will find that the interests of consumers and stockholders are act

            • by roman_mir (125474)

              Nope, companies are there for offering goods and services

              - how is it, leaving in the dream world? Companies exist to make money for the investors. Everything else is secondary, it's just the means to the end goal - money.

            • by CodeMunch (95290)

              If all you have to do is increasing profits, it is then perfectly OK to release dangerous products, abuse your employees as much as possible under applicable legislation (and then maybe a bit more), harm the environment with your production methods, or risk people's life savings in absurd investment schemas, among many other horrors of modern life.

              Doing so is NOT in the best interest of the shareholders because it brings lawsuits and negative attention to the company which reduces sales and therefore divi

            • Saying that companies are there only to serve their shareholders, that is, only to make profits, is just a justification for all sorts of dirty business practices.

              Unfortunately, if you look at most corporate charters, that is exactly what most companies do, in theory, exist today to do.

              Certainly, there is an argument that the benefits granted at public expense to corporations should be given in exchange for some enforceable requirement to serve some public purpose, but that's certainly not the way the law w

              • the benefits granted at public expense to corporations should be given in exchange for some enforceable requirement to serve some public purpose, but that's certainly not the way the law works now.

                The government could certainly pass a law forcing a cake factory to release its employees (at comapny expense) to work one day in five on road building, teaching or law enforcement.

                Or, get this, the government could just let cake factories get on with baking cakes (it's what they're good at!) but make it obligato

            • by elrous0 (869638) *
              Capitalism has no morality or conscience. It's only god is profit. Left unchecked by government regulation and oversight (and criminal laws), of course companies would engage in dirty business practices. Hell, they *already* do as much as they think they can get away with.
        • How are employees hurt by corporate purchases?
          • That question is like asking 'how are men hurt by dogs'. There are a legion of ways a corporate purchase can hurt na employee: The stock price of the purchase may be less than the value which the employee expected or otherwise would receive from a better purchaser. The employee's intellectual property can be folded into the purchasing company's business and then discarded, such as is occurring with Oracle and their purchase of Sleepy Cat Software and the Berkeley Database. The purchaser may strip out the as

      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        by TheRaven64 (641858)

        But for startups? Getting acquired is the dream

        I'd have thought that being sufficiently profitable to buy back all of the VC-owned shares and give a large regular dividend to the founders would be the dream, selling the company would be second-best.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by NoobixCube (1133473)

      We can only hope Brainsuck Industries will synergize with them.

    • by bakuun (976228) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @06:17AM (#25799463)
      A company's main goal, seen from the shareholders point of view (that ultimately of course control the company) is to make money.

      Microsoft offered $33 per share - the yahoo share is now around $10.

      If I was a shareholder I'd be pissed as well.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        So unless they cashed in (and why not cash in when Yahoo! shares were at their highest?) the result of the shares would have been nuked big time too.

        PS IIRC, the $33 deal was shares rather than cash.

        PPS is $10 a year for 10 years more or less than $33 one-off? Yang was looking for the 10-year payoff, not the August one.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          S

          PPS is $10 a year for 10 years more or less than $33 one-off? Yang was looking for the 10-year payoff, not the August one.

          Except that it isn't $10 a year for any length of time, the $10 share price is a once and done deal (once you sell your share for $10, you don't have it anymore). It was $33 one off when MS made their offer, and now it is $10 one off on the open market.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Paradise Pete (33184)

        Microsoft offered $33 per share - the yahoo share is now around $10. If I was a shareholder I'd be pissed as well.

        The open market price at that time was $30. Anybody who didn't take some off the table then gets no sympathy. If not they were taking a huge risk in order to squeeze out another $3. When the upside is effectively capped like that, then without specific knowledge is foolhardy to risk everything for that relatively small return.

      • If the antitrust regulator blocks yahoo-google deal, why would they pass MSFT-YHOO deal? Remember, search is not the only business in the world. Both Microsoft and Yahoo have huge e-mail and portal businesses, while gmail is still trailing much behind; their union will become a monopoly in email service. You know it is harder to change your email address than switching search provider. So why should the same regulator OK that?

        Microsoft likely knew that their deal wouldn't go through really. Their action wa

  • Euphemism (Score:2, Funny)

    by oldhack (1037484)

    "...a new CEO who can take the company to the next level"

    So they're not even trying...

  • Dividends? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by copponex (13876) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @04:15AM (#25798883) Homepage

    I just looked at the YHOO numbers and noticed there is no dividend. Watching some prophetic videos of Peter Schiff [youtube.com], he seems to be saying that every American stock is basically a speculative gamble, and that there is no place to invest in a company with a real balance sheet in the states.

    Can anyone "in the business" comment on what he's saying? Is there a possibility of returning to the more formal method of investing as a stake/stockholder and receiving a share of real profits?

    • Re:Dividends? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by AuMatar (183847) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @04:21AM (#25798929)

      No- because investors today think the stock price means everything. Played that way, the entire thing is a giant pyramid scheme waiting to collape... oh too late.

    • Re:Dividends? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by nedlohs (1335013) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @05:13AM (#25799187)

      Can't watch video since I'm on a machine without flash (or sound for that matter), but it's Schiff.

      So he'll be pointing out that the US economy is fake, that it's all borrow and consume, and the US dollar is set to drop by a huge amount. And hence you should invest all your money overseas, via his firm of course.

      He's basically right in principal, though I think he underestimates just how badly the US bursting will hurt the rest of the world, and he doesn't seem to notice that the US housing bubble is a dwarf compared with the UK... On Asia he's probably right, for the end game anyway.

      Owning "growth" stocks that pay no dividends is gambling pure and simple. See Enron for how easy it is to create phantom earnings - it's a little harder to do so when you have to pay that dividend out... But that isn't US specific.

      I would expect Schiff to not have any huge problems with US miners (of all sorts), US agriculture, and US oil companies. He does have the reverse of the norm view that the US has more "government risk" than other countries.

      As in the US is more likely to declare a "windfall profit tax" and steal your dividends when those companies do very well as the domestic economy collapses or to simply confiscate your gold, etc than say China is. The really sad thing is that he's probably right on that one...

    • Re:Dividends? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Rufus211 (221883) <[rufus-slashdot] [at] [hackish.org]> on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @05:20AM (#25799227) Homepage

      Only very few tech companies that are huge and have been around forever pay dividends. The only examples I can find in the tech sector that pay dividends are IBM, Intel, Sony and HP.

      The entire point of a publicly traded company is to increase shareholder value. One easy way to do this is to simply give the share holders money in the form of dividends. The other choice is to invest back into the company. If the company is still growing then there's a good chance that investing $X million into R&D/employees/capitol improvements/whatever will result in the company improving it's market capitalization by more than $X mill. If that's the case, then that produces more value for the shareholder and is the proper choice.

      Basically dividends, and stock buy-backs which are effectively the same thing, are an easy way out when a company has more money than it knows how to make useful investments with.

      • Nokia also pays dividends. I know as I was on the receiving end for a few years.

      • Re:Dividends? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @07:02AM (#25799653)

        Basically dividends, and stock buy-backs which are effectively the same thing, are an easy way out when a company has more money than it knows how to make useful investments with.

        Or basically dividends allow your investors the option to take part of your profits and either put them back into the stock or use them for income or other purposes.

        One symptom the lack of dividends leads to is companies feeling compelled to branch out in order to make use of the money they have on hand; they usually aren't as good at their new tacked-on field, and the formerly well-focused company that the investors bought into no longer exists.

        • Say that to Dell. Kevin Rollins kept buying back stocks (pay out dividents) and made Dell the most efficient at producing cheap computers.
          The only problem was that when HP improved its game, Dell did'nt have any buffer cash to change their gameplan. They seemed to have fixed it recently, but from the stockprices I think they have'nt worked all that well.
          Some amount of retained earnings are sometimes a good idea.
      • by nedlohs (1335013)

        If the company is still growing then there's a good chance that investing $X million into R&D/employees/capitol improvements/whatever will result in the company improving it's market capitalization by more than $X mill. If that's the case, then that produces more value for the shareholder and is the proper choice

        That's not true.

        It has to be more than the expected returns of alternative investments would be for the shareholders, not just more than dividends would be.

        If Treasuries are at 8% then the compa

    • Re:Dividends? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Stuntmonkey (557875) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @05:32AM (#25799275)

      I'm not sure what your question is really about. Certainly many companies -- and nearly all that have been around for any length of time -- are profitable. Yahoo is quite profitable, generating over $600M of profit last year. So in that sense I'm not sure what you mean by "speculative gamble". Yes the market moves quickly and companies' fortunes can rise and fall, but it's been that way since capitalism was invented.

      With regard to dividend payouts. In a high-growth company, the investors often prefer the company to retain earnings to fund future growth opportunities. When there aren't enough high-value growth opportunities and the cash starts piling up, usually companies will then start paying dividends (Microsoft, for example).

      Because of US tax law, it's actually better for most investors if the company uses extra cash to buy back its stock (thus reducing shares outstanding, and increasing the price of the shares that remain), rather than pay it out as a dividend. The former results in a capital gain, which presently in the US is taxed as low as 15%, while the latter counts as ordinary income. Many companies do stock repurchases, sometimes in addition to dividends: Intel and Microsoft for example. This is another perfectly legitimate way to give money back to the investors.

      • Re:Dividends? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by marcosdumay (620877) <marcosdumayNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @07:04AM (#25799669) Homepage Journal

        If the companies don't issue dividends, the only reason to buy its shares is to sell those later, at a profit. That is a Ponzy scheme, it works on times of inflation and that's all, without severe inflation, if fails. Now, when the companies issue dividends, they can be avaliated on a P/E basis, and bought because of those dividends. There is no need to resell the stocks in order to make profit. That is a stable market (that can become a ponzy sceme sometimes, but doesn't need to be one).

        That the US government encorages the first, and not the latter, tells a lot.

        • by jabithew (1340853)

          That is a Ponzy scheme, it works on times of inflation and that's all, without severe inflation, if fails.

          It doesn't work with inflation, people just think it's working.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by TheSunborn (68004)

          But you are forgetting that they may not be paying dividends now, but they can always choose to do it later. And this choice is really made by the stockholders(Maybe indirectly by voting for the board).

          If I own 10% of a company with 10 million in cash, then the value of my investment will be at least a million, even if the company is not currently paying any dividends.

          So you may think of the value of a stock as the ability of the company to pay dividends. And if they choose not to do it now, it is in a way

          • Yes, and you are right. If the stockholders bought their stock expecting the comanies to pay dividends at some time, you have a stable situation; risky, but viable and, in general stable. The company can change hands before it issue dividends, the only needed characteristic here is that the company is valuated by the amount if dividends it's expected to pay.

            But if they bought it expecting to sell at a bigger price at future, and don't expect the company to issue dividends, you are again at a Ponzy scheme.

        • It's not the only reason. Recovering corporate control from other voting members, especially those who disagree with the board about policy, is sometimes a big reason to buy back stock.
        • If the companies don't issue dividends, the only reason to buy its shares is to sell those later, at a profit. That is a Ponzy scheme

          No it isn't. And it's not a Ponzi scheme either.

          If I own x% of a company, and that company makes a profit, then I own x% of that profit. It could pay all that profit out in the form of dividends. It could retain it, in which case I own x% of a richer company, so my shares should be worth x% more. It could do something in between. Taxes aside, it makes no difference.

          That

        • That is a Ponzy scheme,
          This is not true. Suppose you own 1% of shares of a company that is worth $100. Your shares are worth $10.
          Now they make $10 profit. They could either give you $1 back or reinvest it back in the project to make the same return the next year. If it all works out as planned, the next year you are holding 1% of a company worth $110 and growth prospect of 10%.
          You see how stocks inherently are worth more because the money got re-invested ?
          It is not a Ponzy scheme.
          BTW, P/E ratio
    • First off, I watched that video, and Peter Schiff's comments, while prescient, did not call "every American stock" a "speculative gamble." His comments mostly had to do with the unwinding of the credit and housing bubbles, and what little reference he did make to stocks were with respect to financial companies, and with respect to those, he was of course right.

      Financial companies' balance sheets are notoriously tough to understand and far from transparent. Go look at a company AIG or Goldman Sachs's 10-Q,

      • by hondo77 (324058)

        1) Always invest in companies that pay dividends.

        Oh really? Two words: Berkshire Hathaway.

        • by nedlohs (1335013)

          It's a holding company.

          So it owns other companies that pay it dividends and uses those to buy yet more companies to pay yet more dividends.

          If you think Warren Buffet is a better investor than you, then go ahead. If you don't then you must be pretty good at that stock picking thing :)

    • This graph [generationaldynamics.com] explains it better than I can.
      Assume that the earnings of a company is what remains to be distributed to shareholders. If divident is not paid, and the money gets re-invested, this is similar to a compund interest rate - You should be able to cash in the money at some point of time. Either the company finally pays dividents when it stops growing (MSFT) or the stock price rises since the company has a lot more of retained earnings which they reinvested.
      If you take the above approach the Pri
  • Yahoo is... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by retech (1228598) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @04:16AM (#25798887)
    the next AOL.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @04:18AM (#25798909)

    Jerry Yang was never meant to be Yahoo's CEO.

    He took ever when Terry Semel took a gigantic shit on the company. He failed to act on Yang's and Filo's suggestion that Yahoo acquire Google when that was still possible. This was when they were still using PageRank, prior to their major search engine acquisitions. I rememnber at the time that this was going on, I was constantly talking to Yahoo people about how much sense it made for them to do so. I also remember the looks on their faces when they all came back with "Semel's not going to do it." He also amassed a private fortune at the company's expense while letting Yahoo go down the drain.

    They kicked him to the curb and fell back on Yang as interim CEO. He finally stuck to the position when it looked like that was all that would keep the shareholders happy. But it was simply never supposed to happen.

    If I blame Yang for anything, it's for ever letting Semel head the company in the first place.

    • He failed to act on Yang's and Filo's suggestion that Yahoo acquire Google when that was still possible.

      Cite, please.

      Larry & Sergei refused to sell Google from what I remember.

  • bye bye (Score:2, Insightful)

    by cuby (832037)
    Refusing M$ proposition was probably one of the worst business decisions ever made, and can lead to the end of the company. The CEO is there to execute the shareholders interests... Unfortunatly this is not the case in a lot of places.
    • Re:bye bye (Score:4, Funny)

      by Amamdouh (1130747) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @05:19AM (#25799213)
      Looked like his judgment was clouded by arrogance. He did not refuse to sell he just refused the price claiming it was too loo and claiming that Microsoft gravely overestimated Yahoo's problem hmmm... Guess what Yang, seems you were the one overestimating your value. John C Dvorak made an interesting argument about this deal "Yahoo! is not worth $44 billion. Period. You could buy General Motors lock, stock, and barrel for $14 billion, name all the cars "Google Sucks," and get more bang for the buck."
  • by jbm (17264) * on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @04:41AM (#25799015)

    ...and I hope I'm not the only one. I actually use Yahoo Shopping on a regular basis, but if Yahoo were acquired by Microsoft I'd stop immediately, and find an alternate vendor-aggregator. Just a matter of principle (and maybe as much aesthetic as anything), but Microsoft just icks me out.

    Kinda funny because it troubles me little to support an empire which would probably be just as evil if it had the same amount of power, Apple's. But Apple has an aesthetic sense, and has thus slipped perhaps-irrationally behind my defenses.

    This whole Yahoo mess is also a fine example of the downside of going public -- you have amoral raiders screaming the battlecry "shareholder value" and using that to bludgeon anyone in a company who makes a principled decision which might not maximize stock prices in the short term.

    (Mod me +2/-1 incoherent?)

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      Yahoo! Mail user here. Same problem.

      I really hope they make it.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by apathy maybe (922212)

      Yeah, I've got two Yahoo email accounts I've had since the Nineties (they said they were for life, I hope they meant my life, rather than their life...).

      I like the Yahoo Mail interface, even more than the Gmail one in many respects. I've got a stack heaps of old emails (dating back 10 years almost).

      But if Microsoft bought up Yahoo, I would be out as soon as I could.

      Luckily I have access to POP for Yahoo, so I could just download all those emails that way (I should do that anyway...). (For those of you who h

    • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @05:18AM (#25799209) Journal

      ... a company who makes a principled decision which might not maximize stock prices in the short term.

      It's all well and good when there is any "long term" to think about... but in the case of Yahoo, there's simply none. So it was a bad decision no matter how you look at it.

    • ...and I hope I'm not the only one.

      Considering the reaction of Microsoft stock during the acquisition period, you're joined by a lot of Microsoft shareholders.

      I think trying to acquire Yahoo was more about Steve Ballmers ego needing some marketshare against Google, rather than any form of sane business for either company. I suspect Ballmer got told by the board to concentrate on core business instead of his ego, hence the abort of the takeover.

      Apart from some speculators who've gotten what they deserve, it'

    • ...and I hope I'm not the only one.

      No, you're not. I like Yahoo the way it is now. Just as I liked Hotmail the way it was before Microsoft fucked it all up. Sadly, many current Hotmail users have no clue that there was a time when Hotmail was streamlined, efficient and uncluttered. It ran on FreeBSD. It just worked without sucking.

      Microsoft added the suckage to Hotmail, I am sure they'd manage to do the same with Yahoo.

    • by elrous0 (869638) *
      That just gave me an idea for a new Apple slogan: "Apple; a stylish, more elegant evil"
  • He's so screwed! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Viree (214760) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @04:51AM (#25799073)

    Should have sold it back when M$ was offering $33 a share. It's kinda pathetic he had to beg M$ to buy now. I don't think he has done enough "plan B" for Yahoo as a company. It doesn't take a genius to predict that regulators in US won't be too happy with this kind of merger with Google.

  • 0 result (Score:5, Funny)

    by FornaxChemica (968594) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @05:05AM (#25799141) Homepage Journal

    Yahoo, under fierce financial pressure, has begun a search to replace company co-founder Jerry Yang as chief executive

    "Your search did not match any documents."

  • by Phurge (1112105) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @06:21AM (#25799477)
    I think the Yahoo/Microsoft saga is one of the most shocking displays of directors' self-interest vs their shareholders' interests. For the sole reason of maintaining independence, Yang and the rest of the Yahoo board instituted poison pill defences worth millions, attempted to a deal with a competitor which was good short term but very bad long term and held out for a price (in the absence of any other interest too) that was way above their previous closing price.

    In hindsight shareholders have lost $20 billion. At the time of the offer the premium was around $10 billion. Astronomical numbers to waste just so a board of directors can maintain their personal wish to remain independent.

    Its an indictment of the USA's corporate law that shareholders have not sued for breach of fiduciary duty. If they can, but haven't, well they deserve all they got.

    Jerry Yang - good riddance. Just becasue you can create an online yellow pages in your garage, (and get very lucky), does not qualify you to run a billion dollar company.
    • by Znork (31774)

      I think the Yahoo/Microsoft saga is one of the most shocking displays of directors' self-interest vs their shareholders' interests.

      With that sentence I was unsure which directors and which shareholders you were referring to. If you recall, Microsoft lost more value than Yahoo gained on the bid.

      In hindsight shareholders have lost $20 billion. At the time of the offer the premium was around $10 billion.

      Half of which was in Microsoft stock. Which is also worth significantly less today.

      The speculators could hav

  • I know next good CEO... how about Bill Gates... he is "retired" or get a Steve Ballmer there... Microsoft needs better CEO so he could be free. Even better, get a Steve Jobs and we could get yMail, yBrowser, ySearch etc. But because Yahoo! is a internet search (etc) company, without multimedia and computers, Steve would not leave Apple....

  • a new CEO who can take the company to the next level

    But can they find the warp zone ?

    • Damn, I was going to comment on that phrase too, but your snipe beats the hell out of what I was going to say.
  • by pcause (209643) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @08:44AM (#25800239)

    I know Jerry and he is smart and insightful, but way too nice to be a CEO in an industry where he has to compete against SOBs like Ballmer and Schmidt. Jerry is polite and considerate. He is thoughtful and modest. The other guys are rude, arrogant, aggressive, nasty folk.

    Jerry did a lot of useful changes, but what he didn't get that it is all about perception of being a leader and being on the path upward. A lot of the issue for the market is PR versus reality. And, let face it, search and search advertising are the things the market views as keys to future success and Yahoo has fallen further behind in this area. The decision to outsource search to Google by Yahoo may prove to be one of the top 5 greatest business mistakes of all time and Jerry has to share blame for that as well.

    Jerry didn't move boldly enough, but his Board should have known that his base style wouldn't allow it. He should have reorg'ed immediately and publicly, giving folks ownership and accountability. You get the job but you get fired if you don't hit the goals. He let key services stagnate. Yahoo mail took too long to fix their UI to match Google and Yahoo still charges for POP access. Yahoo was the calendar leader, but Google launches a slightly better calendar and is viewed as the leader, even without a customer base. Yahoo Groups is a leader but is old and stale compared to something like Ning. There are lots of examples of how to upgrade their services out there for Yahoo and they seem to ignore them and let others steal mind share and leadership from them.

    I fear that it is too late. Yahoo is the AOL of Web 2.0. It is only a matter of time.

  • Chairman Roy Bostock - '... take it to the next level...'

    Sounds like something one of the panel might say on "The X-Factor".

    I want a Chairman of a Billion dollar corporation to say something a bit more concise, and profound.

    Turn it up to 11, man !
  • UGH! Am I the ONLY one on this planet that sees BEYOND the whole financial benefits of this! I don't care if Yahoo!'s current stocks were $1 and Microsoft was offering $100! If I was Jerry Yang I wouldn't bite on the offer either! The last thing I want to see is Microsoft acquire Yahoo! at all.

    If you WANT to see Microsoft acquire them, all you're caring about is the money side of things. That's perhaps the worst reason to have this buyout go through. Jerry is trying to protect his company, damn it.

    And I ask

  • Ya...what? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anal Surprise (178723) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @10:48AM (#25801371)

    I'm a former "Yahoo", and I've got to say that I spent much of my time hoping someone would buy the company, if only to mindwipe the boneheaded middle and upper management.

    They could've been the AOL in an AOL/Time Warner sandwich — that "gem" that someone else paid too much for.

    Now? Forget it. I did.

    Yahoo search surrendered the search biz when they agreed to send search marketing results through google. Even with the Department of Justice shooting that down, well, it's a hell of a statement when even your competitor chooses The Other Guy.

  • We have a lot to thank JY and his co-founder for all that Yahoo has brought to us. But he didn't make a good ceo. He upset Mr Softy, so they took a walk and thought he was getting into a neat relationship with Google. But I think the latter just played along until MS walked, then they dumped Yahoo under the pretence of anti-trust stuff. Google had this excuse up their sleeves to use as soon as MS walked, IMHO. Yahoo needs a ceo who can reawaken MS interest, or a leader who charts a really new innovative cou
  • by Animats (122034) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @01:04PM (#25803465) Homepage

    Yahoo's problem is that they can't sell ads. Few companies want to buy ads on #2 or #3 when they're so far behind. That's the killer. Yahoo outsourced most of their ad operation to Google, which, over time, dooms them to irrelevance. Even Google's ad operation is in trouble. [alleyinsider.com] Online advertising is flat and has probably peaked. Google is no longer a growth stock.

    Once you reach a certain level, search quality doesn't seem to affect market share much. Yahoo's search engine is fairly good. For about half of 2007, it was better than Google's. Yahoo had added all those specialized subengines (weather, stocks, celebrities, etc.) and Google had to catch up, which they did by late 2007. Yahoo's market share did not improve while they were better than Google. Search quality does matter if it's awful (see Cuil [cuil.com] and Rushmore Drive [rushmoredrive.com]), but once over the entry threshold, further improvements don't seem to affect the bottom line much. Advertising targeting matters more.

    Yahoo still tries to be a "portal", but does anybody still use Yahoo as a home page other than people who somehow got it installed with their browser and doesn't know how to change? The trouble with "portals" is that the targeting is terrible; when the ads are displayed on the home page, the portal has no idea what the user wants yet.

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