The most notable news this Sunday is what didn’t happen – no Yahoo/Google search deal was announced, meaning there is literally nothing standing between Yahoo and the unholy beating it is going to take when the markets open tomorrow morning.
Yahoo CEO did write a blog post on Yodel Anecdotal today that added to yesterday’s brief response to the Microsoft bid withdrawal. Upbeat in tone, it points to the many product announcements that Yahoo has made recently (Buzz, OneSearch 2.0, voice-activated mobile search, video on Flickr, Shine), product previews (AMP!, SearchMonkey) and the acquisition of Maven Networks.
He also suggested that Microsoft’s version of the negotiation timeline was “nonsense and misinformation,” countering that the Yahoo board “took its mission very seriously.” At this point, that’s really up for the lawyers to work out, as the shareholder lawsuits start to roll in.
Yang says that moving forward they’ll focus their energy on “growing our industry leadership and maximizing value for stockholders.” The hope is clearly that Yahoo’s new Yahoo Open Strategy will save the day. And it may well do that. But many of us remember the promise that Panama would turn the company around and let them compete more effectively with Google. Those promises were never fulfilled.
In many people’s opinion (including mine), they would have maximized shareholder value by simply accepting Microsoft’s offer back in February. Before all the costly severance arrangements, layoffs and high profile employee defections.
One thing Yang gets unambiguously right in his post is when he says “we know the spotlight will probably stay on us for a while.” that’s a certainty. All eyes are on Yahoo. If they stay independent, I certainly hope they nail execution and show that they made the right decision for their users and shareholders by declining Microsoft’s offer.
We’ll check back in tomorrow morning as the markets open to see whether the stockholders agree that Yahoo has “emerged a stronger, more focused company with an even greater sense of purpose” after this ordeal, or if they’re left a skeleton of their former selves, with shell shocked employees who don’t know up from down.
Yahoo’s glass may indeed remain half full. But the markets were expecting to see a Yahoo glass overflowing with Microsoft dollars tomorrow morning. A half full glass gets a half full stock price.