Photo: Daniel Goodman / Business Insider
How, exactly, does a CEO keep his external cool while working through the months-long process of selling his company for $700 million?We recently got a couple first-hand demonstrations from Buddy Media CEO Mike Lazerow.
In mid-May, we got a tip from a source: the New York startup scene was about to have its biggest exit in years.
The source refused to say which company, but gave us a couple hints that pointed to a possibility: Buddy Media, the agency that builds and markets Facebook pages for brands.
It had raised $50 million at a $500 million valuation in the fall, and we’d also heard rumours that Oracle had approached one of its competitors down in Atlanta.
The good news for the team in the news room: Buddy Media was hosting a party that night, on May 15, at its New York headquarters. Maybe we’d be able to sniff out a deal.
Before sending a reporter, though, we decided to call up Mike to make sure he was going to be there.
Good thing we called. In fact, Mike was out in California on some business.
Today, we know what Mike was up to. This morning, Salesforce.com officially announced this morning that is has acquired Buddy Media for around $700 million.
But back then, Mike was very convincing in telling us that Buddy Media was not for sale. He told us, on the record, that the goal was to become a “large independent company,” and that nothing was in the works. He was even more convincing off the record.
We believed him. Oops.
Annoying for us? Sure.
But you have to give Mike some credit: a report about a big deal before it’s done can ruin the whole process, costing investors and employees millions of dollars.
Remember when Google was going to acquire Yelp, but spiked the deal after it decided Yelp insiders had leaked word of it to the press?
Mike did what he had to do to keep the process quiet.
It wasn’t the first time! Just weeks before the deal closed, we sent our intrepid photographer, Dan Goodman, to Buddy Media’s new offices for a tour.