One More Reason to Occupy Wall Street: “Concern” Over Accurate Tech News
In one of the odder things to happen in my journalism career, I was forwarded a flash analyst report by Wall Street’s Macquarie Capital on the news that AllThingsD.com broke yesterday (and foreshadowed before) about the shakeup of Yahoo’s board.
I cover the Silicon Valley Internet giant closely, obviously, and have had a lot of scoops on its machinations over the years. This was simply the latest, and turned out to be on on target (Phew!).
While that is presumably my job as a reporter, it was apparently of “concern” to Macquarie’s analyst.
Said the report:
One final note: it continues to concern us that one particular journalist, Kara Swisher, frequently seems to be privy to such precise information regarding YHOO. On January 9, almost a month prior to the actual release from the company, Kara wrote, “While some departures seem most obvious — longtime board members Vyomesh Joshi, Arthur Kern and Gary Wilson — the really interesting part will be the possible exit of Chairman Roy Bostock.” Yesterday she wrote, “expect a change in the Yahoo board composition, too, as early as this week.” And today at 3:38pm EST, she posted a story that “Yahoo will announce the impending departure of four of its longtime board members, including chairman Roy Bostock. The others headed out the door are Hewlett-Packard exec Vyomesh Joshi, Gary Wilson and Arthur Kern.” While we give much credit to Kara for her ability to obtain this information, we believe it reflects very poorly on YHOO’s ability to maneuver effectively outside the public spotlight.
While I appreciate the fist-bump, it’s unclear why it’s concerning for shareholders — whom these reports are created for — to know this information before Yahoo deigned to release the news or spoonfeeds any other information at investor events. After all, fair, complete and accurate information from anywhere in the tech news media could help them make better investment decisions.
And Yahoo also always operates in the public spotlight, even when it is outside it, as does every tech company. That’s especially true these days, in the vastly changed media environment, in which news moves faster and with more immediate impact.
In fact, I’m concerned that worrywart Wall Street doesn’t grok this — but I’m definitely not surprised, either.