A few days after Jerry Yang makes his case to the WSJ, he does the same thing with the paper’s corporate cousin — Kara Swisher’s Boomtown. We’ll say this for Jerry: He’s staying on message. That message? Carl has no plan, Microsoft has never been serious about buying us.
“I think handing over the company to Carl Icahn for the express purpose of hoping he can negotiate a complex deal with Microsoft is a big mistake for shareholders,” said Yang firmly and in no uncertain terms to me. “This is particularly true since Icahn has no plan B and therefore will have no leverage and will be dealing with Microsoft from a position of weakness.”
Furthermore, Microsoft’s interest in Yahoo has been inconsistent at best and they refuse to even put a firm proposal on the table,” he said. “Their motivations are suspect and there is simply no good reason to think they will actually show up at the end of the day.” And for the big finish?: “And then what will shareholders be left with? A weakened, Icahn-controlled Yahoo.”
When we saw Jerry’s first WSJ interview, we harbored the thought that perhaps the paper has somehow buttonholed him and got a few ad lib quotes out of him before he squirmed away. After all, if he really wanted to go on a PR offensive, why wouldn’t he go on TV, where he’d have much more control of his message?
But obviously Jerry and his strategists think there’s a benefit to granting short, discrete interviews, while repeating the same talking points. And we still don’t think it’s going to persuade any dissatisfied shareholders.
Meanwhile, Jerry spent some of his time in Sun Valley today not talking to reporters and chatting with his frenemies at Google (GOOG). AP:
Asked by a reporter if he will look to meet with co-founder Bill Gates or dealmaker Henry Vigil, Yang said, “I don’t think so.”
Yang did sit down with Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin after the daily lunch. The group chatted for more than 30 minutes at a shaded table in front of the duck pond at the Sun Valley resort, a few tables away from a group of Sony executives.
Brin said the men were “just catching up” and that Yang did not mention he would likely not speak with Microsoft. Brin characterised Yang as “very calm” in the face of “some stressful situations.”
Photos via Reuters.