Jerry is Dead (or Dying) (a business executive’s advance obit)
I wrote this about a week ago and submitted it to Huffington Post and letter to the editor at NYT, buy nobody responded with interest. Decided to just post my thoughts on my blog (we are not so selective) (smile) Jerry is Dead (or Dying) (a business executive’s advance obit) While Jerry Garcia is already dead (old news), Jerry Yang’s business career at Yahoo is set to end soon. Twelve months ago, his grand return to Yahoo! was billed as “critical to Yahoo’s long term success,” as he was expected to clean up the mess the prior CEO Semel had made of his company . In June of 2007, Yahoo!’s stock was selling at $27. Today, it is valued at a reduced price of about $23, fluctuating dramatically between $19 and $31 during that time period. These have not been Jerry Yang’s finest hours. In addition to long-term strategic and management challenges, Jerry handled the takeover overtures from Microsoft as badly as you possibly could. He and his staff allowed Balmer to create such chaos that we have heard of rampantly poor morale and a mass exodus of Yahoo!’s best and brightest. Last week it was announced that Yahoo signed a deal with Google to give away their search business. Kevin Lee, founder of Didit.com was quoted in USA Today as saying: “It’s difficult to imagine a situation where Yahoo both invests in its own search platform and uses Google’s superior system to earn better revenues" Noted corporate raider and Yahoo! stockholder Carl Icahn is on the warpath, leading the charge to remove Yang and the rest of the company’s 10-member board of directors. Jerry is a fighter and a warrior himself, and has a reputation as a terrific poker player, but I’m not certain he can dodge the arrows and big guns holding him personally responsible for Yahoo!’s stock price drop and reduced market cap of $23 million below its recent peak of $33 million in March of this year. While Jerry remains the CEO for now, I predict it is only a matter of time before many newspapers and bloggers will be reporting on a new CEO, and a new regime at Yahoo!. And as the other "Jerry" and his band The Grateful Dead sang in their ode to change, there’s always a new season ahead after the dark, gray days of winter. Let’s see how long it takes until Yahoo! shines again: Winter gray and falling rain, we’ll see summer come again, Darkness falls and seasons change (gonna happen every time). Same old friends the wind and rain, summers fade and roses die, You’ll see summer come again, Like a song that’s born to soar the sky.