With all the backlash surrounding the Microsoft acquisition of Yahoo, it seemed only a matter of time before Yahoo’s CEO Jerry Yang was foreced out. There’s also the 60% decrease in Yahoo’s value since Yang took over last year, but It’s questionable what percentage of that is attributable to Yang and what percentage is attributable to the market drop as a whole. Regardless, I have to imagine that the board and employees of Yahoo are secretly (or maybe publicly) celebrating his departure and hoping that the market sees this as a new hope for the future of Yahoo.
Breaking away from elections and politics for a bit and moving to the more mainstream, Google has announced today that it is ending it’s advertising partnership with Yahoo to avoid a legal battle with federal antitrust regulators. From the outside this sounds like a great thing for Google and another nail in the coffin for Yahoo’s long term prospects.
Yahoo stock was up considerably today as investors considered whether or not this would reopen discussions with Microsoft, which frankly seems like amuch better fit, although I truly believe that even the merged companies would soon become a rounding error in Google’s advertising success. As an advertiser, there are a lot of options out there, but very few offering the same CPC value as Google. At this point Microsoft has declined to comment, although I suspect that their consideration for this deal is soured and any offer Yahoo receives from Microsoft will reflect a significantly reduced market value.
That’s right – you heard it here after you read about it in other places – the announcement by Yahoo of poor earnings and 1500 layoffs is not even half the story. ValleyWag has one thought about the definition of a layoff and I think Owen Thomas is spot spot on. He’s basically saying that by raising the standard during upcoming reviews Yahoo will shame or anger a large percentage of their remaining employees to leave on their own – thus sacrificing their severance.
My opinion on the other side of this is simple: additional savings will come from eliminating part time and contract personnell from their payrolls. This is a common ploy and I’m sure that Yahoo is used to playing this model. Good for them – they should be around 500 people and then I think the market will be happy with their prospects (it’s a web company for Christ’s sake.) It’ll never get there, but I’m hopeful.
I’m just wondering, now that the dust has cleared, how stupid do these people feel for not letting the Microsoft Acquisition play out a little further? Really, do you think Microsoft wants Google to be as successful as they’ve been? No, and if you believe that it’s a no-brainer that they’d be willing to throw some additional funding to anyone able to even partially erode Google’s dominance in the search space.