Web 2.0 Summit: Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang Open To Microsoft Sale - InformationWeek
Cloud // Software as a Service
02:57 PM
Connect Directly

Web 2.0 Summit: Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang Open To Microsoft Sale

The co-founder also acknowledged Google's announcement that it would not pursue its advertising partnership with Yahoo.

At the Web 2.0 Summit on Wednesday, there were worries that Jerry Yang, CEO of Yahoo, wouldn't show up. Rumors were circulating that morning, subsequently denied by Yahoo, that Yang had been ousted.

Conference moderator John Battelle said he'd received several calls from journalists who wanted to know whether Yang would appear for his 4:50 p.m. on-stage interview. Similar questions were raised in the media room.

But Yang arrived, apparently undaunted. Given what his company has endured this year -- Microsoft's attempt to buy Yahoo, Google's attempt to partner with it, the loss of key personnel, and a radical infrastructure makeover -- the absence of battle scars and bandages seemed somehow wrong.

Yang made it clear he was still open to selling the company to Microsoft. "At the right price, we're willing to sell the company," he said.

But Microsoft, he said, is no longer interested. "They walked away from a public offer," he said. "We were ready to negotiate."

Battelle questioned whether Yang really wanted the deal to go through. Yang insisted he had. "We believe we were doing the right things every step of the way," he said.

Yang's depiction of Yahoo as a willing partner, jilted at the altar, is a role the company reprised this week with Google's announcement that it would not pursue its advertising partnership with Yahoo.

"Google clearly decided that they did not want to stay in the deal, and we were clearly disappointed with that," said Yang.

So where does that leave Yahoo? "We're rewiring Yahoo," said Yang. "We're creating Yahoo into a platform company. That was the dream I felt I could achieve as a CEO."

Yang conceded his company has a long way to go. But with the recent developer release of the Yahoo Open Strategy (Y!OS) for developers, it at least has marching orders.

Yang insisted that Yahoo wasn't just trying to emulate Facebook, to do "social for social's sake."

Yahoo, he said, wants to be the "consumer staring point" on the Internet. "That is what we're building the company around."

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Digital Transformation Myths & Truths
Transformation is on every IT organization's to-do list, but effectively transforming IT means a major shift in technology as well as business models and culture. In this IT Trend Report, we examine some of the misconceptions of digital transformation and look at steps you can take to succeed technically and culturally.
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll