Check Out Our New Look

Is Jerry Yang Trying To Block A Yahoo Sale?

The Wall Street Journal has struck a nerve at Yahoo with a story today that quotes several investors who say co-founder Jerry Yang is trying to reassert his power at the company by undermining the board’s effort to find a buyer. “News reports based on rumor and speculation are just that,” the company says in a statement. “Mr. Yang is one of 9 directors with the exact same fiduciary duties and motivation as all of his fellow directors — to serve the best interests of all the company’s shareholders.” The WSJ story says that as former CEO and now a major investor and board member, Yang’s ”multiple hats have raised questions both inside and outside Yahoo about whether he can act in the best interest of shareholders rather than from a desire to preserve his influence and legacy.” It quotes a letter sent today by Daniel Loeb, who manages the Third Point LLC hedge fund, a major investor in Yahoo, calling on Yang to resign. He cited Yang’s “ineptitude” in 2008 when he was CEO and rejected Microsoft’s $45B offer for Yahoo — which now has a market value of $19.2B.  Loeb said he would fight a “sweetheart” to sell Yahoo to a private equity firm. The story also quotes Peter Schoenfeld of P. Schoenfeld Asset Management LP, who says that the ”board should be focused on unlocking [Yahoo] value for all shareholders instead of protecting a small group.” Yahoo has been trying to find its way since September … Read More »

Comments (13)

Yahoo Beats Estimates With 3Q Earnings, Sees Shares Rise After Hours

By | Tuesday October 18, 2011 @ 1:29pm PDT

Most on Wall Street expected a hot mess when Yahoo reported its third-quarter earnings after the closing bell today — and surprisingly, they didn’t get one. The struggling Internet giant kicked out CEO Carol Bartz mid-quarter and has been fielding offers to sell the company. And today Yahoo said earnings fell in the most recent quarter as the company struggled to revive its online advertising business. But it still managed to beat analysts’ expectations. Yahoo reported earnings per share of 21 cents — up 32% year-over-year and much better than analysts had expected. Revenue excluding the cost of traffic acquisition was $1.072 billion, down 5%, and income was down 6% to $177 million; both figures also beat estimates, sending shares up almost 4% in after-hours trading. Two key metrics — display ads and search revenue — were flat and down 13%, respectively. The results included the impact from a search agreement with Microsoft in which the two share revenue. Yahoo said it expects revenue of $1.125 billion to $1.235 billion in the fourth quarter. Since the departure of Bartz, Yahoo has retained investment banking firm Allen & Co to help conduct a “strategic review” of its business and is reportedly working with executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles to find a new CEO. The number of potential buyers reportedly include private equity firms Silver Lake Partners, Providence Equity Partners, Bain Capital, Hellman & Friedman, Blackstone Group, and KKR. Also reportedly … Read More »

Comments (0)

Is AOL Boss Pitching Merger With Yahoo, Or Is He Pitching Himself?

By | Wednesday October 12, 2011 @ 8:07pm PDT

AOL CEO Tim Armstrong is doing some behind-the-scenes pitching to major shareholders about a plan to have Yahoo acquire AOL, Reuters reported today. That he’s seeking a merger deal isn’t new, but the details are interesting: citing sources, he says such a move would save AOL $1 billion-$1.5 billion when redundancies are eliminated post-merger, and that one large entity would provide a more efficient buy for ad agencies. Those ads have been a problem for AOL, which reported weak sales during its last quarterly earnings, and its stock has suffered as a result — it’s down about 40% since it was mercifully spun off from its ill-fated merger with Time Warner. The latest report suggests Armstrong might use such a merger as a way to bow out gracefully from a company he took over in 2009 after departing from Google. Another consideration, however, is that he might want to have a crack at running Yahoo, which is seeking a new chief after ousting CEO Carol Bartz last month. In effect, Armstrong would trade AOL for Yahoo-AOL. “As far as Armstrong’s desire for an exit, he doesn’t want to be doing what he is doing 18 months from now. He wants to be out,” a source familiar with Armstrong’s thinking told Reuters. “He’s an ambitious sort of guy and AOL is such an afterthought. But he would definitely put his hat in the ring to … Read More »

Comments (5)

Yahoo Outlines Sale Process In Staff Memo

By | Friday September 23, 2011 @ 10:12pm PDT

In a memo leaked today, Yahoo co-founders Jerry Yang and David Filo and chairman Roy Bostock gave employees a “next phase” update. It follows Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz being removed from her post September 6th, then rumors swirling that the board was getting closer to officially putting the company up for sale. The new memo reveals that the board of directors with management is conducting a “strategic review” and has hired investment bankers Allen & Co to help and is looking for a permanent CEO:

Dear Yahoos:

In our recent all hands meeting, we talked about the Board’s strategic review to help return the Company to a path of robust growth and industry-leading innovation. While our teams are working to evaluate the many opportunities by which Yahoo! can continue building on our success, all kinds of people have been – and will continue – speculating in the media about where that work is headed, so we thought it best to provide you with some additional context directly from those of us who are closest to it. We don’t have specific news to share with you today, but we are committed to communicating with you directly from time to time – especially given the level of external swirl – so that you know where we are in the process. You can expect periodic updates from us and we encourage you to communicate with us as well.

Read More »

Comments (0)

Carol Bartz Steps Down From Yahoo Board

By | Sunday September 11, 2011 @ 4:38pm PDT

Ousted Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz is no longer on the company’s board of directors. Her decision to resign came several days after she was fired and replaced with CFO Tim Morse. Immediately afterward, she told Fortune that she planned to stay on the board in the interest of not abandoning Yahoo’s employees. Bartz’s resignation marks the end of a tumultuous ouster, after which she called her fellow directors a bunch of “doofuses.” “They want revenue growth, even though they were told that we would not have revenue growth until 2012,” she told Fortune.

Comments (6)

Bloomberg: AOL-Yahoo Merger Discussed

By | Friday September 9, 2011 @ 12:39pm PDT

AOL YahooAOL chief executive Tim Armstrong and advisers for Yahoo are discussing combining the two companies in the wake of Carol Bartz’s ouster as Yahoo CEO, Bloomberg reports. Armstrong perhaps sees his opening now that Bartz has been forced out — he was interested in a merger last year but was rebuffed. Armstrong has consulted private-equity firms and investment bankers from Allen & Co, working with Yahoo. Yahoo has been considering all its options, including acquisitions — it is believed to be a bidder for Hulu — and splitting itself into parts. One option appears to be Yahoo acquiring AOL, with Armstrong taking the reins as CEO of the combined company, according to one source. Meanwhile, Bartz has said she plans to remain on the Yahoo board, and though she thinks new interim CEO Tim Morse is “a great guy,” she feels she is the only true replacement for herself.

Comments (8)

Fortune: Yahoo Board Full Of “Doofuses”, Fired CEO Carol Bartz Says In Parting Blast

By | Thursday September 8, 2011 @ 11:57am PDT

The business world would be a lot more fun if every fired CEO responded to the news the way Carol Bartz has. “These people fucked me over,” the former Yahoo chief tells Fortune in a story on the magazine’s website. Bartz says that chairman Roy Bostock dropped the ax in a Tuesday night phone call where he began by reading a statement prepared by a lawyer. “I said, ‘Roy, I think that’s a script,’ ” Bartz said, adding: ”‘Why don’t you have the balls to tell me yourself?’ ” When he was done she said, “I got it … I thought you were classier.” Bostock gave her two hours to decide if she would resign or be formally fired, and Bartz learned that Yahoo had sent lawyers to the St. Regis hotel in New York to seal the deal. She avoided them by moving to another hotel — and disclosed the news via email to Yahoo employees. Read More »

Comments 23

Yahoo Ousts CEO Carol Bartz, Replaces Her With CFO And Launches Strategic Review

By | Tuesday September 6, 2011 @ 4:40pm PDT

Carol Bartz has been replaced as CEO of Yahoo, the company said in a statement today. CFO Tim Morse has been appointed to the post on an interim basis after the company’s board of directors — including chairman Roy Bostock and co-founder Jerry Yang — made the decision to let her go after less than three years on the job. “I am very sad to tell you that I’ve just been fired over the phone by Yahoo’s chairman of the board,” she said in a memo sent to staff. “It has been my pleasure to work with all of you and I wish you only the best going forward.” Yahoo said it would conduct a strategic review aimed at reviving the company’s growth prospects. Yahoo had seemingly begun to lose its way even before Bartz took over for Yang in January 2009, and has been unable to capitalize on Asian investments and kick-start expansion since. The company has been considering all of its options, from making more acquisitions –it is believed to be a bidder for Hulu– to splitting itself into parts. The lack of a clear direction has made Yahoo a head-scratcher for investors frustrated with its lackluster stock performance. The company’s shares were up 6.3% after hours today, but Credit Suisse analyst Spencer Wang was skeptical. ”This news signals that the Yahoo turnaround story remains very much a work in progress. While Yahoo’s stock may react positively to the news, the fundamental challenges … Read More »

Comments (3)