Yahoo (YHOO) chairman Roy Bostock is suddenly a man in a hurry. Not only does he believe Yahoo will name a new CEO before 2009 — about four weeks away — he’s also telling people that a long-discussed AOL-Yahoo merger could be completed as early as next week.
“Bostock has intimated that Yahoo was ready to do a deal at any time in the next week or so to merge with AOL–with or without a new CEO in place,” Kara Swisher reports.
The final sticking point in the AOL-Yahoo merger is price, of course. Kara reports:
Yahoo has long wanted to give Time Warner about 20 per cent of the merged company, while Time Warner has wanted one-third. At current prices, that’s about $3 billion in value versus $5 billion.
The way Kara characterises it, the chief negotiator in the AOL (TWX) deal remains Jerry Yang, who will remain on the board and become Chief Yahoo after he steps down from CEO.
In other words, don’t hold your breath. If Jerry proved anything during his Yahoo tenure — remember the 100 days of sacred cows, the interminable silences during the Microsoft dance, this very AOL-Yahoo deal — it’s that he’s not exactly a cheetah-quick decision-maker.