Sunday, June 15, 2008

Bye-bye Jerry, Bye-bye Steve

In a NYTimes article entitled, "Oh Jerry, It’s No Longer Your Baby,"
Joe Nocera spanks Jerry Yang for rejecting Microsoft's offer to buy Yahoo! for 70% above market price.

It's a good article, well-written and full of relevant facts. It also follows standard Business-School doctrine that the CEO's responsibility is to maximize the wealth of the stockholders. Yang was clearly not doing that when he turned away Microsoft's insanely generous offer. What Yang was doing was protecting his own position as CEO of an independent Yahoo!

Nocera could have also pointed out that Steve Ballmer was not maximizing the wealth of Microsoft's stockholders when he made the +70% offer. Ballmer was doing the same thing Yang was doing - feeding his own deficient self-concept by deluding himself that he was the master mind of a growth strategy for Microsoft, when he was in fact he was admitting that he had totally failed as CEO. Neither Ballmer, nor anyone else at Microsoft has a sliver of an idea of how to create a future for Microsoft.

It's time for Yang, Ballmer and all the other "have-beens" at both companies to disappear from public view. Maybe they should join Jimmy Carter and start their own retirement community.

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