Since the acquisition/merge of Yahoo and some of its’ services was on the table – predominantly with Google and Microsoft – Yahoo seem to have done no good with their strategy. When Microsoft offered a generous price per share to acquire, Yahoo turned around and suggested that their stock was worth far more … possibly hoping that MS had options to increase this offer. As it turned out Microsoft told Yahoo it wasn’t interested in any further talks.
Yahoo’s stock price is in the toilet, rumours of an AOL take-over never seemed to surface, Microsoft is now sayng it’s only interested in acquiring the search part of the business, Yahoo’s CEO, Jerry Yang, has now quit the board and job losses abounds. All in all, not a great time for the once giant of the internet.
“We Need Plans – and Damn Good Ones!”
Clearly Yahoo needs to be revitalised – but how? Any take-over by Microsoft, AOL, Google or whomever will distill what Yahoo have built – and they have built or bought many great things. The problem is that their income / revenue streams aren’t quite what they should be. For another corporation to take over Y! would probably kill the brand off quietly (just like Geocities – remember them?) and asset strip – the kind of thing Microsoft would surely do.
From a consumer point of view this could be a great thing as it would see increased interconnectedness of applications and services. As a means of innovation and competitiveness this would not be such a great thing as without folks like Google, Microsoft and Yahoo competiting in the same spaces (Search, Email, etc.) it reduces the need to push innovation. Finally from an employment standpoint it would reduce the number of folks involved in making all the wonderful things happen.
That being said, there is suggestion that Yahoo needs a re-org; Rumour that projects are started and not completed being commonplace to name but one. Clearly a strong management team is needed.
Enter the Dragon
There is a rumour that a new player is on the scene; Johnathan Miller is a former head of AOL and is apparently intending to raise enough venture capital to privately buy Yahoo. By making Yahoo private, this could take the pressure off and allow the company to restructure without the added pressure of shareholders.
If Miller were to step up then this could be either the making or the breaking of the business… of course this too could be a bad strategy from somewhere in Yahoo to try to force another offer for their business… if it is, it smacks of desperation and I’m sure is something Microsoft for one won’t bite.