Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Yahoo’s Bartz: Microsoft Deal Was “Very Clever”

092209ATDbartzSay this about Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz: She promised to answer any and all questions at a New York press conference today, and she delivered! The event, which was meant to highlight Yahoo’s new $100 million marketing campaign, went on for a good hour, and the Q&A covered a wide variety of topics (and a PG-rated F-bomb).

And when that finished, Bartz agreed to answer yet more questions. Video is below, but here’s a synopsis:

  • Should press and investors really compare Yahoo (YHOO) to Time Warner’s (TWX) AOL unit? “We aspire higher than that.”
  • Bartz explains and defends her Microsoft (MSFT) search deal yet again. Key point: “I never wanted a big upfront payment,” she says. “What I got was revenue, with my expenses covered. I think that’s actually very clever…cash doesn’t help me. But revenue helps me. Revenue without expenses really helps me.”
  • Bartz says major Yahoo investors like Gordon Crawford support her tactics and strategy: “They’re fine. I meet with them a lot.”
  • Yahoo is interested in M&A, but “nothing on an epic scale,” says Bartz. “Buying interesting sites and content so we can pull in users or smart people, always a great option for us.” Giant joint merger combinations? “That’s really hard. Small and medium-sized opportunities are really what make sense for us.”

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik