An uneasy year so far for Yahoo has perhaps worsened with co-founder and CEO Jerry Yang stepping down, and the search for a new CEO…maybe even a CEO who will be able to negotiate a sale for the troubled company. Yang had replaced Terry Semel as CEO in June 2007.
The real trouble for Yahoo began when Microsoft made a public, and almost boisterous $44.6 Billion, $31 per share bid for Yahoo in February this year. At that time, Yahoo was trading at around $19 per share. Billionaire investor Carl Icahn, blasted Yang for being hostile towards the Microsoft deal, as Yahoo declined the offer. After the deadline for negotiations to be concluded lapsed, Microsoft withdrew the offer in May. Icahn, who owned almost 5% of Yahoo, tried to garner support for renegotiations with Microsoft, despite the announcement of an advertising partnership between Google and Yahoo, around Yahoo Search. Eventually, Icahn settled for three board seats at Yahoo – including one for himself.
However, a recent threat of an anti-trust lawsuit against the Google-Yahoo deal made Google withdraw. Read their blog post on the same here. That’s when Yang again sent out feelers to Microsoft, saying Yahoo willing to re-negotiate the deal though this time, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer declined.
None of this is good for Yahoo – such an uncertain environment for a company impacts growth as potential partners may defer deals, and employees may look for more secure environs.