Et Tu, Ballmer?
March 13 is the deadline for Microsoft (MSFT) to nominate its own slate of directors to Yahoo’s (YHOO) board. But it really should be the 15th, shouldn’t it? Because the Ides of March would be a far more appropriate date for such a boardroom bloodletting, if that’s what Microsoft intends.
And it seems likely that it does. BoomTown reports that the software juggernaut has been trolling Silicon Valley for board candidates. And according to Microsoft’s leadership, the two companies aren’t really talking much these days–at least formally, anyway.
“No one asked me about Yahoo, which is interesting,” Microsoft CFO Chris Liddel said during the Morgan Stanley Technology Conference this morning. “It’s a small company we are looking to acquire, but the company has not yet formally responded to our offer. … We will continue to look at our options and that is something I am incredibly systematic about.”
It’s a small company we are looking to acquire. Heh.
Putting in a pre-show appearance at the CeBIT technology fair in Germany today, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was equally cagey about the company’s Yahoo strategy moving forward. “We still think the deal makes sense with the price and structure that we announced and we hope that over time that becomes a reality, and we’re working toward that,” Ballmer said. “There’s been a range of dialogue and there’s a range of alternatives being considered. … We think there’s a lot of merit in the deal for Microsoft, for Yahoo, for their shareholders … consumers and advertisers. We are trying to have appropriate levels of engagements with those three constituencies.”