Yahoo Looks To AOL For Saving
And by screw I mean noose. Following the Yahoo/Microsoft saga is like watching a billion-dollar chess game, and Yahoo’s current board only has a couple of moves left before they find themselves in check. It’s not over, but it’s close.
Yang and company’s last desperate move: Chat up TimeWarner/AOL about a possible $10 billion merger and get it done before the Wrestlemania of all annual board meetings on August 1st.
And why not? AOL knows a little something about losing value and marketing share, right?
Previously on The Yang and the Restless, Microsoft tried unsuccessfully to pull Time Warner and/or News Corp. into this mess by proposing Microsoft buy up Yahoo Search, leaving the rest of the company’s assets to be divided up amongst themselves—a small Flickr (not of hope) for AOL, something del.icio.us for News Corp.
A no-go, the last we checked, but it sounds like AOL has some options to weigh.
Microsoft and Ballmer’s "Internet hole" may not need another pair of giants to be fulfilled. All Microsoft may need is a successful Carl Icahn. While Yang and Bostock scramble for any corporate savior but Microsoft (what’s next, offering yourself up whole for Google to swallow?), Icahn publishes another one of his now infamous letters to shareholders.
In the letter, Icahn says after speaking with Ballmer, Microsoft’s still in for a deal, so long as they don’t have to deal with Yang and Bostock. Microsoft said pretty much the same thing in a separate press release. In Icahn’s letter, he assures investors that if they elect him to the board, his predecessors won’t have the opportunity to "botch up" another deal.
Our company is now moving toward a precipice. It is currently losing market share in its "Search" function; our current Board has failed to bring in a talented and experienced CEO to replace Jerry Yang and return Jerry to his role as Chief Yahoo!, and currently it is witnessing a meaningful exodus of talent. It is no secret that Google (which hired a great operator as CEO) continues to dramatically outperform Yahoo!. According to publicly available information, Google’s income from operations grew 59% per year over the last two years while Yahoo!’s shrank 21% per year. However, none of the above has caused the Yahoo! board to hesitate in paying themselves $10,000 per week. IT IS TIME FOR A CHANGE.
Well, at least, unlike with Microsoft, one never wonders what Icahn means. Hear that? It’s the sound of a noose tightening.