Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang schmoozed with celebrity New York Times M&A man Andrew Ross Sorkin in Sun Valley. After a couple of lousy press interviews, Jerry deserved some good coverage, and he got it.
As Sorkin tells it:
- Microsoft embarrassed itself with that bush-league offer over the weekend (we agree).
- Jerry’s a reasonable, straightforward, and classy guy (jibes with our longstanding impression),
- Jerry enjoyed his meeting with Carl Icahn–and has a sense of humour about it,
- Jerry might even step down if that’s the best thing for Yahoo (it might be).
Mr. Yang recently met with Mr. Icahn in his New York office. “We’ve had rational conversations,” Mr. Yang said of the meeting, almost as if he enjoyed the get-together. “He said to me, ‘I like you, but I have to get rid of you,’ ” he recounted with a smile.
Amazingly enough, he seems almost willing to give up the helm if it would help. “This isn’t about me,” he said, with a sense of earnestness. “It’s about what’s going to happen to Yahoo.”
Almost willing? Or willing? As we’ve argued, we think Jerry volunteering to step aside and hire an experienced operator might be a good solution for Yahoo.
But we also don’t think he should give up just yet. Microsoft and Icahn burned a lot of capital over the weekend, in our opinion, and we continue to expect that Yahoo will easily win the shareholder vote.