Posted by: Marshall Sponder | July 7, 2008

Bye Bye Jerry Yang

I think this story in the New York Times, just now, seals Jerry Yang‘s fate, along with the current Yahoo Board of Directors. Icahn: Microsoft Deal Possible if Yahoo Board Goes.

The more I learn about the Microsoft – Yahoo deal, the more I am forced to conclude that Yahoo is a sinking ship and the idea of staying independent, which is what Jerry Yang was trying to do – doesn’t make sense anylonger.

Mr. Icahn’s solution to pull Yahoo back from a “precipice” remains ousting its board and replacing Jerry Yang as the company’s chief executive and a director. Any sort of sale — be it a full takeover or a more complicated breakup — would provide more shareholder value than Yahoo’s current search advertising tie-up with Google.

Microsoft confirmed in a statement Monday that it has held conversations with the billionaire over the past week, and it reiterated its belief that the Yahoo board has been too recalcitrant in their deal negotiations.

“We have concluded that we cannot reach an agreement with them,” Microsoft said.

I have an opinion about Corporation Boards (sitting on one, myself) and I think personality and leadership count for a lot – sometimes, a Board can be made up of members that drag the entire process down – all major issues have to have a quorum of those who agree, and that can be difficult to achieve if you have more than one or two people on the Board, that don’t agree on basic objectives.

I’d say, time for Jerry Yang and the Yahoo! Board to leave – and I don’t think anyone would miss them.

Frankly, I can’t imagine a worse result than the one Yahoo! has now – and it’s just dying a slow death – might as well just sell what’s left to Microsoft.

That’s my two cents – for whatever it’s worth.

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