The memos clarified that Yahoo is for sale. They clarified that, at this very moment, Allen & Co. is exploring the sale of all or parts of the company. They clarified that no one is really in charge at the company (one memo came from the Chairman and two chief Yahoos, the other from the interim CEO). They clarified (inadvertently) that Yahoo still has no real mission or plan short of selling all or part of the company.
In one of the memos, Chairman Roy Bostock and Chief Yahoos Jerry Yang and David Filo also assured the troops that a search is underway for a permanent CEO.
This ran counter to what we had learned earlier this week, so we checked on it.
And, unfortunately, Yahoo really isn’t looking for a new CEO.
Yes, Yahoo’s board has created a committee tasked with conducting a CEO search, a source familiar with the situation says. And that committee has begun talking to executive search firms–so, officially, a “dual process” has indeed commenced. But that committee has not yet hired an executive search firm–and, therefore, has not really begun searching for a permanent CEO.
And there’s actually a good reason for this.
Any buyer of all or part of Yahoo will almost certainly want its own boss in charge.
So there’s no sense in rushing out and paying huge money to a search firm and a new CEO when that CEO might be instantly canned the moment Allen & Co. delivers a suitable transaction.
So the truth is that Yahoo’s not really looking for a new CEO. It’s just sitting there, dead in the water, hoping someone will make it an attractive offer, while its still-plenty-impressive core business withers on the vine.
How long will it be before Allen & Co. delivers an attractive deal (or concludes that there’s none to be had?)
Probably weeks. Possibly months. And unfortunately for the company, there’s no time to lose.
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