Yahoo Billionaire Founders At A Loss Today

Paper loss nearly $580 million when Microsoft walked

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When Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer took his bat and ball and headed back to Redmond, Yahoo’s founding duo of Jerry Yang and David Filo saw nine-figure paper losses today.

As the market cap for Yahoo declined today from Microsoft’s valuation of it at $47.5 billion to a closing value on Wall Street of $33.6 billion, Yahoo’s insiders with substantial holdings experienced a decline in value along with the company.

Though many managers at Yahoo are ruing the lost opportunity Microsoft offered, as All Things D recounted today, the big drops happened to the guys who started Yahoo as a directory of links. They may not be on the receiving end of a lot of sympathy from their executives and other staffers.

According to Bloomberg, Yang watched $232.7 million evaporate from his stake today. Filo experienced a more precipitous fall, of $347.6 million.

Not exactly coins dropped in the seat cushions, is it? Don’t worry, both men have been billionaires for nearly a decade; as much as Yahoo’s institutional investors would prefer Yang to be answering to the title of barista today, it’s not going to happen.

Their lawyers could be fielding frantic calls, as counsel for shareholders suggest potential legal redress for the loss of Microsoft’s big bid that lifted Yahoo out of a two-year slump on Wall Street. Reuters suggested law firms were salivating over that prospect:

“I think it’s pretty hard for the Yahoo board to turn down $33 when they’ve shown no ability to turn around their stock price,” said Stuart Grant, managing director at Grant & Eisenhofer, a law firm that specializes in bringing investor lawsuits.

“There’s going to be breach of fiduciary duty lawsuits and I must tell you they are looking pretty good right now,” he said.

Any additional lawsuits would stack up with the existing ones filed by several groups after Yahoo’s initial rejection of the deal. Yahoo faces accusations of not living up to its fiduciary duty and not looking out for its shareholders.

Yahoo Billionaire Founders At A Loss Today
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