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John Battelle , Jerry Yang (Yahoo! Inc.)

John Battelle , Jerry Yang (Yahoo! Inc.)
This interview of Jerry Yang by John Battelle is important for many reasons. The two that come to mind are that this event served as a precursor to the end of Yang's tenure as CEO of Yahoo and the fact the 'Jerry Yanging' actually became and expression.

It is surprising that Yang refers to the year as being 'extraordinary' for Yahoo. I would have used different words but then, that's just me. Battelle is a 'take-no-prisoners' interviewer who asks Yang all the questions.

He asks Yang if it was an ego issue for Yang in rejecting Microsoft's offer of $33 per share for Yahoo. Yang goes on to say that they did go back to Microsoft with the latter's offer but this time Microsoft walked away. Yang realizes that he may be blamed for this supposed blunder, possibly forever.

Yang says that despite this debacle, he respects Balmer and that none of it is personal.

Batelle next questions Yang on the Google deal which also went south. Monetizing assets at yahoo via Google were estimated at a 100s of millions. Yang said that as they were meeting with the Dept of Justice to convince them that this deal was good for the market. It would benefit users and advertisers said Yang. Google walked away from the deal.

He goes on to say that Yahoo search engine was still good. He point out that the government did not, in this case, look into Yahoo's History.

Batelle asks Yang about Yang's comeback as CEO after making money and whether he was the right guy? Yang stepped back in 2007. He was a joint CEO with David Filo.

Yang says that he does not take his position lightly. There has been a lot of change and he is proud of what Yahoo has become, a great platform company. He has no regrets, he says.

The vision for Yahoo: Yang says that Yahoo is a consumer brand that allows people to get what they want in the Internet in the way only Yahoo can. He says that people are returning to Yahoo, despite all the criticism. Yahoo is the consumer starting point.

Yahoo OS now allows 3rd parties build apps. It also allows social network applications. He speaks of the ad revenue model wherein an advertiser can monitor their sales on many websites through the Yahoo platform.

Is Yahoo going to buy again? Yes says Yang. It is an important part of growing talent and working with the start up community. He makes no comment on buying AOL.

When asked about the search competition with Google and the fact that Google is spending a lot more on research than Yahoo, Yang says its a question of how well capitalized they are in the search market. He goes on to say that Yahoo is well capitalized. He believes that Search is innovation based rather than capital based. Yahoo is not in maps like google and Microsoft is, which is capital based.

Yahoo is also in the cloud computing arena. It takes a certain amount of capital to compete in both search and display. They may be the only company to build data centers in this economy.

For Entrepreneurs:
Yahoo came out of a similar economic environment. He says that he would not have done things differently. Think Long term in this environment where share holders want things short term.

Yahoo is still changing the game, says Yang.

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