TechCrunch declares war on sloppy journalism, blasting the New York Post for running a titillating story about how Microsoft (MSFT) has been unable to find anyone willing to be a Yahoo (YHOO) dissident director. In fact, TechCrunch says, it talked to a Yahoo dissident director (unnamed), who ridiculed the idea that anyone in Silicon Valley cares what Jerry Yang or Yahoo thinks of them anymore.
According to TechCrunch, Microsoft’s dissident slate is all set to go. Microsoft is just waiting for the appropriate moment to bean Yahoo over the head with it.
The sad truth is that nobody is afraid of Jerry Yang or any other Yahoo insiders (what’s left of them). While the Post may have uncovered some individuals who may have been considered for the alternate board and declined, that is not the same as evidence “that the software giant actually doesn’t have anyone lined up.” Because, in fact, Microsoft does have an alternate board lined up and the people chosen for it have agreed to serve if called upon to do so. We have confirmed this with a member of the alternate board.
So why hasn’t Microsoft released its proposed slate? It is not because it cannot find anyone to serve on it. More likely, the reason that Microsoft has gone dark is because it is deep in negotiations with Yahoo to close the deal. The expectation for a revised bid of $34 a share or more is well-founded. If a deal is imminent, there is no point in doing something hostile like propose a new slate of directors. The absence of a slate actually means the chances of the deal going through are high. If Microsoft does decide to reveal the slate in the next few days, then you’ll know the negotiations aren’t going well.
Appalled by sensational journalism.
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