Yang: Microsoft Bid Was a “Galvanizing Event” for Yahoo


February 25, 2008,  12:26 pm

Yang: Microsoft Bid Was a "Galvanizing Event" for Yahoo

By Saul Hansell

Jerry Yang(File Photo: Paul Sakuma/The Associated Press)

If Jerry Yang is upset that Microsoft bid to buy the company he co-founded 13 years ago, it didn’t prompt any angry words as he spoke Monday morning at the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s annual meeting in Phoenix. Rather, he talked about how the bid for Yahoo and the company’s frenzied search for a way to fend it off has been an exciting journey of self discovery.

To no one’s surprise, when Mr. Yang was asked about the deal by Randall Rothenberg, the I.A.B.’s chief executive, he didn’t add any new details about what Yahoo will do next.

"Everyone has read what we are doing, so there is not much to report," Mr. Yang said. "We have taken the proposal Microsoft delivered to us very seriously. We made a public statement why we not accepted the proposal."

Then came the optimistic part: "In many ways it has been a galvanizing event for all of Yahoo," he said. "Our board, which has been a very independent board, is spending a lot of time understanding our alternatives."

Mr. Yang also talked about "the number of people who talked to us about what this could mean for the industry."

These talks, he said, "give me a lot of encouragement. We are trying to make sure Yahoo goes to the right place for our customers, our employees and above all our shareholders.

Before his talk with Mr. Rothenberg, Mr. Yang spoke about his vision for the company. There wasn’t a lot that was new, but there was a bit of a wistful nostalgia in his remarks.

"It’s hard to believe that it has been only 13 years since Yahoo started," he said. "The journey has been anything but boring. We are on the cusp of something more interesting as we go forward."

He repeated his vision that Yahoo should be the central point for users to begin their Web experiences.

"We talk about having Yahoo being the starting point, again, for the Internet." (Using the word "again" draws attention to the fact that, before the rise of Google, Yahoo was indeed the center of the Web.)

Sue Decker, Yahoo’s president, made an unscheduled appearance at the conference, promising a bold new system that will link advertising on many different systems and in many different advertising formats, including search ads, display ads and video.

She promised it would bring no less of a revolutionary

Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company


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