Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Impossible Questions and the 10 Plagues of Sunnyvale for Yahoo's Jerry Yang

question

In exactly two weeks, Walt Mossberg and I will be hosting Yahoo’s CEO Jerry Yang and President Sue Decker, among others, at the sixth edition of our D: All Things Digital conference.

Of course, there will be a lot of questions for the pair onstage, from either Walt or I, and also the audience (and you can ask your own here to either Yang or Decker or any D6 speaker in text or video), given the incredibly eventful year the much-buffeted Internet company has had.

That got even more eventful yesterday with the news that billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn would decide today whether to enter the fray and wage a proxy fight for the company, entering via the vulnerable position Yahoo (YHOO) has put itself in after not coming to terms with Microsoft (MSFT).

The software giant walked away 11 days ago, after repeated rejections of its unsolicited takeover bid by Yahoo and the blowing of its bluff over price with Microsoft.

moses

Now with Icahn hovering–and there will be more opportunistic investors to come, prompted into action by some of Yahoo’s biggest shareholders, including Capital Research’s Gordon Crawford (don’t say BoomTown didn’t warn you, Jerry)–Yahoo is kind of like a town just whipsawed by a tornado and about to endure a flood.

And then some hail. Also, maybe a locust swarm or two.

Unfortunately for Yang, who also co-founded Yahoo, this 10 Plagues of Sunnyvale ordeal is likely to go on and on and, thus, the questions will not end for a very long time.

And, even more unfortunately, the answer to the most important one he should be asking–what to do now?–is the one that might be now entirely out of Yang’s hands.


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Twitter’s still in its honeymoon period, but that won’t last forever. At some point, it’s going to be less of a wunderkammer, and more of a regrettable necessity.

— Reuters finance blogger Felix Salmon, in an article entitled “Why Twitter will get more annoying”