Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

From the Desk of Former Yahoo President Sue Decker

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Recently–in the echo chamber that is Silicon Valley–several people told BoomTown quite separately that former Yahoo President Sue Decker had become an executive-in-residence at the Blackstone Group.

Actually, when reached via email, Decker told me she has yet to decide her next step after leaving Yahoo and had simply set up a no-strings-attached desk at the private equity firm’s San Francisco office, but is definitely not an EIR there.

And who says bloggers don’t check?

In fact, a move to join Blackstone formally would have been very ironic for Decker given that the firm–specifically, longtime friend and former colleague, Jill Greenthal–was one of the advisers to Microsoft (MSFT) in its failed takeover battle for Yahoo (YHOO), a fact that was highlighted in a post I did last year.

Instead, Decker has been keeping a low profile since she announced she was resigning from her post the very day new Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz arrived.

Decker was also a candidate for the top job, which she sought after sticking by former Yahoo CEO and co-founder Jerry Yang through some very rough times for both.

Her last day at Yahoo, after nine years there, was April 1.

In the email, Decker explained that she has not yet made any future work-related plans, but had simply taken up an offer from Blackstone’s President Tony James, as well as Greenthal, who suggested she could set up a small office there to attend to board work. The three all used to work together at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette.

Even without an executive perch, Decker could use such a desk given that she sits on some very major boards, including Intel (INTC) and Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A).

More than that, Decker–who sounded pretty happy to me–is not saying. Yet.


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald