Yahoo Keyword: Arbitrage – A Yahoo BiD Coming From Investment Group ? It’s About Damn Time

Mike Arrington has a report that a group of investors are circling Microsoft for money to take over Yahoo. Finally, someone is making a run at Yahoo. The wounded beast is begging for a takeover and what a bargain that would be. I would love to have the cash to take over Yahoo. Yahoo has amazing assets.

This is the easiest arbitrage and the best investment if the group can get the company at the right price. Also a huge win for Microsoft. I am happy to see some life in the technology financial markets. This would be a fun deal to work. Can’t wait to see the debate – obviously I have an opinion with a ‘capital O”.

A group of well known Silicon Valley executives and top investment bankers are putting together a Yahoo takeover deal that would be financed largely from debt supplied by Microsoft, we’ve learned from sources with knowledge of the proposed transaction.

Under the terms of the proposed deal, the investment group would make a takeover bid for Yahoo at a relatively low premium of around 20% to its current price of around $13 per share, valuing the company at just over $20 billion.

Simultaneous to the transaction Yahoo’s search and search marketing business would be sold to Microsoft. Following the transaction the new executive team would take over the top ranks of Yahoo. A key goal of the new team would be to attempt to attract back much of the executive talent that has fled Yahoo in the last year.

No Dan – Look At Me – Ding Ding Kara Gets The “First Award”

Dan Lyons takes a shot at Kara Swisher not once but twice. I often break many scoops here at and we all know embargos are irrelevant in the blogosphere. So with great interest I watch the spat regarding the sourcing of Kara Swisher’s scoop. She jumps early posts first and runs it to the finish in style. Kudos to Kara.

Jumping the gun is fun to watch especially as being “first” post matters. I see traffic logs that show that being first clearly spikes traffic.

However, in my post I credited Mike Arrington with the story because Mike has a following on twitter that is big, and based upon a tweet I saw on twitter it was clear that in that medium Mike was first. That being said Kara actually was first. In the era of “first comment’ and ‘alpha blogging’ being the first matters.

Therefore, this blog being the arbiter of ‘all things tech blogosphere’, I award Kara the ‘first’ award.

Judgement finds Kara “first”. Mike Arrington gets honorable mention for being first on twitter.

“Live Long and Link Often”

In that spirit of “Live Long and Link Often” – here is Kara Swisher with the “First” post of insider views at Yahoo on who will be the replacement for Jerry Yang.

Yang Is Forced Out At Yahoo – No Question About It

Update: Om Malik has a post on what Jerry Yang should do next.

Mike Arrington has the post up with a release from Yahoo. I think that founder should stay and be supported. Me being the arbiter of all things scoops in tech has to give a shout out goes to Kara Swisher first broke the story here. Then pulls out the magic again by getting the internal memo (see below).

There is no question in my mind that Jerry Yang was forced out of town on a “rail”. I hate to see this, but the mob got him. All that value flushed down the market toilet. Personally, I was cheering for Jerry and hoped he could put it together. Hopefully this could give him some cover. Maybe the search will take a long time.

Remember that Steve Jobs was supposed to be the interim APPLE CEO.

Here is the release from Yahoo

The press release:

Yahoo! Conducting Search for New CEO
Co-Founder Jerry Yang to Step Down Following Appointment of New CEO
and Return to Former Role as Chief Yahoo! and Board Member

SUNNYVALE, Calif., Nov 17, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) –

Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO) today announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a search for a new Chief Executive Officer. Jerry Yang, co-Founder of Yahoo!, has decided to return to his former role as Chief Yahoo! upon the appointment of his successor as CEO, and he will also continue to serve on the Board. Yang, 40, assumed the CEO role at the Board’s request in June 2007, and he has led Yahoo! through a strategic repositioning and transformation of its platform.

Chairman Roy Bostock, working with the independent directors and in consultation with Jerry Yang, is leading the process of assessing potential candidates and determining finalists for consideration. The search will encompass both internal and external candidates, and the Board has retained Heidrick & Struggles, a leading international executive search firm, to assist in the process.

“Over the past year and a half, despite extraordinary challenges and distractions, Jerry Yang has led the repositioning of Yahoo! on an open platform model as well as the improved alignment of costs and revenues,” said Roy Bostock. “Jerry and the Board have had an ongoing dialogue about succession timing, and we all agree that now is the right time to make the transition to a new CEO who can take the company to the next level. We are deeply grateful to Jerry for his many contributions as CEO over the past 18 months, and we are pleased that he plans to stay actively involved at Yahoo! as a key executive and member of the Board.”

“From founding this company to guiding its growth into a trusted global brand that is indispensible to millions of people, I have always sought to do what is best for our franchise,” said Jerry Yang. “When the Board asked me to become CEO and lead the transformation of the Company, I did so because it was important to re-envision the business for a different era to drive more effective growth. Having set Yahoo! on a new, more open path, the time is right for me to transition the CEO role and our global talent to a new leader. I will continue to focus on global strategy and to do everything I can to help Yahoo! realize its full potential and enhance its leading culture of technology and product excellence and innovation.”

Internal Memo from Jerry Yang to all employees

Kara Swisher has the internal memo from Jerry Yang to fellow Yahooers
… This is pretty epic and so sad. I can’t believe that Yahoo can’t get their shit together to support their founder.

o: all yahoos
Fr: Jerry
Subject: update

yahoos –

i wanted to address all of you on the news we’ve just announced. the board of directors and I have agreed to initiate a succession process for the ceo role of yahoo!. roy bostock, our chairman of the board, is leading the effort to identify and assess potential candidates for consideration by the full board. the board will be evaluating and considering both internal and external candidates and has retained heidrick and struggles to help in this effort.

i will be participating in the search for my successor, and i will continue as ceo until the board selects a new ceo. once a successor is named, i will return to my previous role as chief yahoo and continue to serve as a director on the board.

last june, i accepted the board’s request that i assume the ceo role to restructure and reposition the company as a whole in order to more effectively meet the fast-changing needs of both users and partners. since taking on the ceo role, i have had an ongoing dialogue with the board about succession timing. thanks in large measure to your tireless efforts, we have created a more open, competitive yahoo! and we believe the time is now right to transition to a new ceo who can take the company to the next level.

despite the external environment we face, the fact remains that yahoo! is now a significantly different company that is stronger in many ways than it was just 18 months ago. this only makes it all the more essential that we manage this opportunity to leverage the progress up to this point as effectively as possible. i strongly believe that having transformed our platform and better aligned costs and revenues, we have a unique window for the right ceo to take ownership over the next wave of mission-critical decisions facing the company.

all of you know that I have always, and will always bleed purple. i will always do what I think is right for this great company. while this step will be an adjustment for all of us, i know it’s the right one. i look forward to updating you on this process as soon as the board has developments to share, and will continue to do everything i can to make yahoo! fulfill its full potential.

thank you,

Jerry: I am available to take over as CEO. Let me know when the interviews start. Time to clean house.

TechCrunch Effect Heading to the Deadpool? Update: Apparently Not

UPDATE: As of 11:20 am Feb 21 Umair pulled down the post claiming it was harmful to Techcrunch. Note: the post only had 8 comments before Umair offlined it.

My post (below) was in response to that post. My original post below was a supportive post for Techcrunch. Now my orginal post is out of context because there is no original post to reference it.

I find that pulling down posts is bad form especially if the posts are written as editorial content. Techcrunch and other blogs write controversial posts that generate sometimes harsh conversations.

Below is my original post in response to the now pulled down post.

I saw the post today by Umair on the Techcrunch effect. Being a participant with Mike and Keith Teare at the formation of Techcrunch and watching him grow, I have to say that I think the Techcrunch effect is do to Mike’s work ethic and drive. As long as Mike stays around they will be relevant. On the community issie I think that as sites get larger they do get diluted on the community side, but Techcrunch has commenters who are pretty rabid.

What people don’t realize is that Techcrunch isn’t just Mike anymore. It’s a management team and staff that executes Mike’s vision. He’s outgrown the one man band blog to a fully branded publisher. This is a major accomplishment for Mike and his team.

Personally I don’t think that he can scale the way he’s organized but his site combined with events is a profitable model. I think that he’s nailed the events and Techcrunch meetup events. Those events throw off a ton of cash flow. What the Techcrunch growth story beyond that anyones guess. However, it doesn’t matter he is profitable and unless something wild happens Techcrunch won’t be out of business anytime soon. (side note: PodTech is approaching breakeven as well). Being profitable is a good thing and allows companies to control their own destiny.

Overall, I think that Mike’s growth strategy is in alignment with how he has financed Techcrunch – organically self funded. If Mike changes his strategy from financing growth through internal cash flow to external equity capital, then he would have to rethink how he organizes his business.

One thing that I’d like to see is Mike publish his traffic numbers. That would silence the critics.