Thursday, May 15, 2008

It's tough being a founder.

The news has come out that Microsoft is withdrawing its bid for Yahoo. This is expected to lead to a big drop in Yahoo's stock on Monday and bring about law suit against Yahoo and its board.

A lot of fingers will probably be pointed at Jerry Yang and that is unfortunate, but given how cynical the world is towards CEOs I'm not surprised. We live in a time where CEOs are viewed those who are there to make big bucks and companies are soulless entities. Jerry Yang could've approached his role in the same way. He got to be a CEO, broker a major internet deal, pocketed a lot of money and moved on, but people forget that Jerry founded Yahoo and he really wants it to succeed as a company and I believe that he defines success both for the company, its employees and its shareholders. Shareholders will sue him and Yahoo, though, but I believe he is looking out for share holders and also for the 13,000 people who make up Yahoo.


I originally wrote the above post right after the news broke but didn't actually publish it. With the latest news of billionaire Icahn trying to set up a proxy battle against Yahoo, it felt like a good real life example of what I said about people looking to make the big bucks but have no real interest in the company or its people. Basically Mr. Icahn is trying to replace the current Yahoo board for the sole purpose of selling off Yahoo. The problem is that if that is all it focuses on then this is a board that doesn't have any reason to look out for the shareholders because it's not looking out for the shareholder's company. If a deal cannot be brokered with somebody quickly, this board has no interest is making sure that the company succeeds.

1 comment:

  1. Nice post. While I'm still not convinced that Yang is the one that can turn Y! around, I am definitely sure that Microsoft and Icahn can't. Like you say, they are concerned with short term share value not the long term success of the company. Sigh.