Legg Mason’s Bill Miller, who control a 5.4% stake in Yahoo (YHOO), says he’s hasn’t decided whether to throw in with Carl Icahn and crew. But he is sure about what he does want: A time machine, so he can go back and force Jerry Yang to accept Microsoft’s (MSFT) offer. And he wants no part of a Microsoft – Yahoo JV.
“It is a strategic imperative for Microsoft to change its position,” he tells Reuters.
Bill may also have been one of the investors who’ve told Kara Swisher this week that they hold Jerry primarily responsible for blowing the $33 offer/non-offer, and that they don’t want him screwing the pooch again.
Thus, Yahoo’s Chairman Roy Bostock himself has assured major investors that there are now others in the room–such as Yahoo’s independent directors, who are being called “adult supervision”–to make sure Yahoo’s latest revived talks with Microsoft go more smoothly.
“I would have been happy with $33 price then and I would be happy with one now,” said one big investor to me this week. “But since that’s not happening now, I would like then to not screw up these new talks.”
Luckily for both Jerry and his shareholders, Kara reports, he’s been taken to the woodshed/seen the light (take your pick) and is now ready to do something — anything — to keep the company out of Carl’s clutches.
“I think he realised it’s inevitable,” said one [Yahoo exec].”Jerry is beloved at the company and he knows now that that’s at risk if let’s this spin out of control any more, so I think he’s wised up to the situation.”
UPDATE: Not sure how to interpret these maneuvers: Yahoo has pushed back its annual meeting from July 3rd to the end of the month. And board member Edward Kozel has resigned, shrinking the board from 10 to 9.
Meanwhile, over at Mountain View, things are going swimmingly. Its U.S. search share shot up another 1.8% in April, to 61.6%, according to ComScore, while Yahoo and the other also-rans all fell further behind.
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