Now who didn't see this coming...
Oh Jerry, Jerry where did it all go wrong? Oh yes, here.
Yes, ever since the Microsoft takeover bid was rejected in January and bankers decided to sell people mortgages they could never afford poor old Mr Yang has been on a hiding to nothing. That culminated last week when firstly Yahoo lost its Google AdSense deal and then Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer rubbed salt in the wounds by declaring his company was no longer interested in a buy-out and had Moved On.
Consequently, with Yahoo’s value now drastically reduced and jobs on the line Jerry has stepped forward and offered up his. In a long (strangely capitalisation free) memo to employees Yang explained: “i wanted to address all of you on the news we’ve just announced. the board of directors and I have agreed to initiate a succession process for the ceo role of yahoo!… i will be participating in the search for my successor, and i will continue as ceo until the board selects a new ceo. once a successor is named, i will return to my previous role as chief yahoo and continue to serve as a director on the board.”
His anti-upper case statement continued: “all of you know that I have always, and will always bleed purple. i will always do what I think is right for this great company. while this step will be an adjustment for all of us, i know it’s the right one. i look forward to updating you on this process as soon as the board has developments to share, and will continue to do everything i can to make yahoo! fulfill its full potential.”
Yang/yang (?) also said he believed Yahoo to be in a stronger position now than 18 months ago (that one’s a real stretch) but with shareholders baying for blood the move was inevitable.
Of course this is all a million miles away from Yang’s bullish declaration to Microsoft in April: “”We consider your threat to commence an unsolicited offer and proxy contest to displace our independent Board members to be counterproductive and inconsistent with your stated objective of a friendly transaction. We are confident that our stockholders understand that our independent Board is best positioned to objectively and knowledgeably evaluate our Company’s alternatives and to maximize value.”
Oh dear Jerry…