Yahoo CEO: Now Microsoft should consider buying Yahoo
Even if Jerry Yang isn't sorry about not pursuing a job related to his electrical-engineering studies, he may regret not attending culinary school. Crow is one of those dishes that can use an expert's touch.
It's getting to be a regular menu item at Chez Yahoo. A day after Google turned tail on the joint advertising agreement, and a couple of hours after some joker sent around a fake resignation letter "from" the embattled CEO, a weary-sounding Yang told a crowd at Web 2.0 that "to this day, I believe the best thing for Microsoft to do is to buy Yahoo."
Response around the blogosphere varied from reaction to the apparent change of heart concerning acquisition ("Carl Icahn should beat him up, literally") to muted admiration that Yang was able to step onto the stage at the San Francisco event after seeing the Google deal crater ("Wow").
The most... metrical?...reaction came from alleged current or former employee 'double o'trouble," who posted a poem in a comments thread on TechCrunch to express her/his dismay: "even though times call / for you to be frugal / don't leave me for dead / like your deal with google." S/he closed the ode with a claim that s/he was quitting to go to the rival search giant, and a plug for her/his own Web site.
For his own part, Yang added that he didn't kill the first Microsoft-Yahoo deal -- it was a matter of price, and Microsoft chose to walk away even as negotiations were getting close -- and that the Department of Justice didn't correctly understand the tech industry when it came to the aborted Google deal. He said that there are no talks currently underway with Microsoft, but gave an "I can't talk about that" to a question about the even more persistent rumors of a Yahoo-AOL deal.
Rumors today that Microsoft and Yahoo are in fact far along the path of negotiating a deal lifted the stock temporarily. The rumor (unsubstantiated, and also including a claim that Yang would resign) claimed that the deal would bring $17-$19 per share for Yahoo, which pushed the price as high as 14.89 for a few moments. Microsoft was down about a point at 21.16. The Microsoft offer last spring was for, as no one is going to let Yang ever forget, $33/share.
At press time, Microsoft had no comment on Yang's business advice.