Andrew Sorkin relays last night’s entertainment from Sun Valley: moguls placing bets on what Yahoo president Sue Decker, Google co-CEO Larry Page, huge Yahoo shareholder Bill Miller, and ex-Yahoo CEO Terry Semel were whispering about in a secret meeting at the back of the bar.
Our ideas below. But first, Mr. Sorkin’s report:
[M]edia executives and Wall Street bigwigs gawked at the corner table next to the piano. At that table were none other than Larry Page of Google, Sue Decker of Yahoo, Bill Miller of Legg Mason…and yes, Terry Semel, the ousted former chief of Yahoo.
Given that Topic A here is the fate of Yahoo’s independence in the face of Microsoft‘s efforts to buy the company and Carl Icahn’s campaign to oust its board, this unusual power table gave rise to all sorts of speculation.
Everyone from Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com to James B. Lee Jr. of JPMorgan Chase to Wendi Murdoch (Rupert’s wife) were in the bar, but nobody dared walk over. Another table included Harvey Weinstein, the Hollywood producer, Richard Perry of Perry Capital and Robert Wiesenthal, Sony‘s chief financial officer. Sergey Brin of Google also strolled in.
From the best guess of the mogul lip readers in the bar, Mr. Page and Mr. Miller were dominating most of the conversation and Ms. Decker and Mr. Semel seemed to chime in only from time to time.
So what were they plotting? Some possibilities:
- The overthrow of Jerry Yang. He wasn’t there, was he? Even though he’s reportedly in Sun Valley. Why wasn’t he there? Maybe because he wasn’t invited… Maybe because, contrary to Yahoo’s violent denials, he really is resigning…
- The trashing of Jerry Yang. Sue Decker’s downfall is almost complete–because she is seen as one with Jerry. Perhaps Bill Miller and Larry Page were exhorting her to save herself while she still can.
- The ridiculing of Microsoft. 13 years in the net business and still a distant also-ran. A whole evening’s worth of comedy material right there.
- The secret plan to get Steve Ballmer drunk so he’ll offer $30+ for Yahoo again. True, they’d have to get him really drunk. Oh, wait, Steve isn’t even there.
- Bill Miller’s plan to support Carl Icahn.
- The favourite Sun Valley drinking game: Guessing what the idiot press is going to say you were scheming about last night.
Place votes and ideas below. Meanwhile, Mr. Sorkin, get cracking on the lip-reading classes.