AOL CEO Randy Falco hasn’t had much to say — at least publicly — about the Yahoo-Microsoft saga, but he finally popped off Tuesday. His spin: He’s happy to see MSFT-YHOO take on GOOG.
“I hope they beat each other’s brains out over search and leave the display market to us,” he said to the Interactive Advertising Bureau annual conference. “I think it’s a mistake. But I think Napoleon said never interrupt your enemy when they’re in the middle of making a mistake.”
Apparently an earlier speaker, Microsoft advertising head Brian McAndrews, left AOL off a chart of Microsoft’s perceived competitors, and that didn’t sit well with Randy. “Microsoft and Google can ignore us and leave us of charts if they want, but they do that at their peril,” AdAge reported.
This sounds awfully blustery to us. As we’ve noted before, an MSFT-YHOO combination will relegate AOL to a distant third place, so hoping that somehow the two big competitors will cancel each other out doesn’t count as a real strategy.
Falco, former NBC sales chief, also found time to ridicule those still practicing his old profession and the medium he once fought so hard to defend: “You sit back and wonder, ‘Why can’t these guys get out of their own way?’ [Because] they have all these legacy models and partnerships and its difficult for them to get past them. But at some point they’ll come to realise they have no growth. … Generally speaking that’ll bring about the change they so desperately need.”
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