Ina Fried

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Yahoo’s Jerry Yang: There Are Plenty of Options Beyond Sale

Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang said on Thursday that the company’s board continues its strategic review process, but that there are a number of options beyond just selling the company.

“The intent going in is not to put ourselves for sale,” Yang said, speaking at AsiaD. “The intent is to look at all the options.”

And while selling the company as a whole is one option, Yang noted that the company is made up of three key parts — its core business, its stakes in Yahoo Japan (along with Softbank) and its share of Alibaba.

Asked what he would personally like to see happen with the company, Yang said his goal is just to see Yahoo reach its potential.

“There are many ways of creating that environment,” he said. “So far, we have not ruled out any possibilities.”

Yang acknowledged that Wall Street now looks at the company’s Asian stakes as a significant part of its market value. “They are looking at a core asset that they don’t know how to value.”

As for that core business, Yang insisted that the company remains a premier digital media company, despite its challenges.

“We ought to be growing, can be growing,” Yang said, insisting the company has a great brand and 700 million monthly users. “We really do believe there is a path for Yahoo that can be better and higher growth.”

At the same time, Yang noted the company is also looking for a new CEO, an effort being led by an independent committee of the board.

“As these things go there is no CEO until there is a CEO, but the process has started,” Yang said.

In search, Yang acknowledged that the Microsoft partnership has been bumpy for both sides.

“I would probably venture that the Microsoft folks would say the partnership hasn’t gone the way they wanted,” he said.

But Yang said he is hopeful it will yet reach its goals.

“I think Microsoft is a very, very important partner for us,” he said. “I think both sides recognize this is a partnership that has to work over time.”

Yang noted that Microsoft has a lot of good people working on search — many of whom he noted used to work at Yahoo.

“It takes trial and error,” he said. “It takes work.”

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