Icahn: 'I like Jerry'; Yahoo needs Microsoft search deal

Icahn: 'I like Jerry'; Yahoo needs Microsoft search deal

Summary: Carl Icahn says he likes Jerry Yang and notes the former Yahoo CEO is a "charismatic guy," but Yahoo needs to do a Microsoft search deal since the company can't afford to fight Google.Icahn's remarks, made in an interview with Barron's (subscription required) a few days after he added to his Yahoo stake, doesn't reveal anything entirely new, but does indicate that full-blown Microsoft acquisition is off the table.

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Carl Icahn says he likes Jerry Yang and notes the former Yahoo CEO is a "charismatic guy," but Yahoo needs to do a Microsoft search deal since the company can't afford to fight Google.

Icahn's remarks, made in an interview with Barron's (subscription required) a few days after he added to his Yahoo stake, doesn't reveal anything entirely new, but does indicate that full-blown Microsoft acquisition is off the table.

The Yahoo excerpts of note (most of the article focuses on the corporate debt markets primarily):

Icahn on Yahoo's board:

I'm on the board, and I certainly like some of the board members. They really take seriously what is happening and what should be done there, but I don't think some on the board are correct in their views. I've said this before: Yahoo! should make a deal with Microsoft as far as selling its search capability.

A search deal:

Microsoft has said publicly that they are not interested in buying the whole company, and I believe them. But they are interested in doing a deal on search, and we should pursue that.

The need for Yahoo search:

They would still be one of the top content companies; they are very good at that. Yahoo! would still have the search capability. So when you go to Yahoo!, you could still use the search function, but Microsoft would handle it. Microsoft can afford to fight Google better than Yahoo! can. That is, Microsoft has the resources to put in the billions of dollars on the technology for search it may take over the next decade.

On Yang:

I like Jerry. He is a charismatic guy, but let the past be the past.

Topics: Legal, CXO, Enterprise Software, Microsoft, Social Enterprise

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13 comments
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  • Yahoo needs or Icahn needs??

    Please, lets be very clear. Icahn need the MS deal to make $$$ on the sale.

    He has absolutely no interest in Yahoo or the company's long term survival. His only interest is in himself. He does not care a single bit about Yahoo ... just his wallet.
    wackoae
  • RE: Icahn: 'I like Jerry'; Yahoo needs Microsoft search deal

    Regardless what Icahn wants, he is right. Right for everybody. Nobody should wait any longer. I just don't get it. Why wait? Am I stupid? Yes, msft can wait to get a better deal, but wouldn't time be more import than anything else? You never know what is going happen in a few month. I say get the deal done and kick the stupid google out of here.
    jk_10
    • Neither Yahoo or MS live is competition for Google

      So why in the world would anybody think that the combo would be anything but a mediocre product??

      The fact is that base on history, all MS will do is take an OK product and turn it into an undesirable one. Just look at Hotmail ... a hot product that became sub-zero ice when MS took over.
      wackoae
      • Icahn and MS snouts all in the same trough ...

        ... reveals that there isn't an abundance of food out there.

        The pigs have gorged themselves so much that there is nothing left to eat, except for their own legs.

        And Jesus said unto the lord, forgive them father, for they know not what they do.

        Something like that. I don't actually read the Bible. It's boring.
        fr0thy2
      • you need to read some books and reality instead of internet postings

        I refuse to call google a tech company. would you call facebook or ebay a tech company? they are exactly the same thing, except the stupid g get luckier. once it can't make money from search, it is no better than viki. only technoloy lasts, you can get lucky, but you can lose it quickly.
        jk_10
        • To be honest

          Google does have the most sophisticated search technology available today,a technology that both Yahoo and Microsoft have been having a hard time to match for years now, thus they are to a certain point a technology company.
          timiteh
      • What are you talking about

        [i]Just look at Hotmail ... a hot product that became sub-zero ice when MS took over.[/i]

        As of 2008:

        Microsoft webmail properties: 256.2 million users
        Yahoo: 254.6 million users
        Google: 91.6 million users
        AOL webmail properties: 48.9 million users

        Yes, I can see how bad hotmail is based on those numbers.

        Please just give it a rest and get serious
        GuidingLight
        • When was the last time you emailed somebody with a Hotmail account??

          Your number where provided by MS and they don't delete accounts (just open one and check 6 months later ... it will still be there).

          The best way to know Hotmail is now junk, is the fact that nobody in their right mind would use them. Not even for a spam account.

          Seriously, ask yourself when was the last time you emailed somebody with an Hotmail account??
          wackoae
  • RE: Icahn: 'I like Jerry'; Yahoo needs Microsoft search deal

    Was Yahoo fighting Google. No.

    It would be fun to have billions so I could spout off and say that Yahoo needs a M$ search deal. That is about the silliest statement yet.

    Yahoo has it's own search and it's not horrible. Leave it alone.
    atari8bit
    • Yahoo just can't be let alone or it will disapear

      Because yahoo has been losing money for years now.
      If Yahoo had another obvious way to get money you can be sure that their ex-CEO would have found it. As he failed to do so, the only solution for Yahoo is either to get a deal with m.S or to die.
      Especially in the current economic situation.
      timiteh
      • I agree somewhat

        say I'm wrong, but Google tried a ad deal for 30 days. Google is the #1 search, so IF the ad deal worked as an experiment, wouldn't it be wise to deal with Google, if Google was interested? I don't like MSN, Hotmail or a M$ search at all.

        There is Webcrawler which nobody seems to use but it's a great search for the internet. How come no mention of it?
        atari8bit
        • Maybe they didn't know about it...(NT)

          .
          JCitizen
  • RE: Icahn: 'I like Jerry'; Yahoo needs Microsoft search deal

    yesterday.
    as in"the last time i emailed a hotmail account holder". the best way to see if junk is overriding a service is to see who avvoids it. at the point the vasst majority of spam gurus tell their acolytes to use gmail, w/yahoo mail a close second.
    hotmail--which i personallly cannot stand at alllll--is more famous at this point for keeping wated mail out, rather than letting spam in, while gooogle just keeps studying what >>users<< not self-appointed gurus call spam.
    yhoo and msft each use differet algorithms for search than does goog.
    how much of these "talks" are actually about devloping a hybrid, rather than msft serving yhoo, as a way to get a heads ip figt against goog?
    we'll probably know 6 months after it happens.
    gabrielbear