November 25, 2008

Jerry Yang

http://www.maximumpc.com/files/u46168/yahoo.jpg

This hasn't been the best year for a lot of people in the tech industry. But nobody can argue that Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang hasn't had a particularly rough time.

"Jerry Yang has had a tough nine months," Web 2.0 Summit host John Battelle of Federated Media said as he introduced the CEO for a talk at the conference here on Wednesday, and went on to list some of his company's much-documented woes. Yang, in a blue blazer and white checkered shirt, slouching a bit in his chair, replied, "That's quite an intro."

But it was still an understatement. Yang took the stage at the high-profile industry conference on the same day that Google announced it was walking away from a 10-year search-advertising deal with Yahoo, which would have brought the beleaguered Sunnyvale, Calif.-based dot-com hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue, due to antitrust concerns. Battelle said that, due to the situation, before the talk started that he'd gotten calls from multiple reporters wondering if Yang would actually show up.

But he did, and he was defiant. "I don't regret any minute of what happened," Yang said. "Because I've been there the whole time, it's a part of me and some people say that's great and some people say 'well, you're just too close to it.'"

Even though Battelle, moderating the "conversation," brought up just about every ghost from Yahoo's recent past--from the "peanut butter memo" to the Microsoft takeover debacle to corporate raider Carl Icahn's attempt to shake things up--the talk proved less than electrifying. The CEO kept driving home a single point: that Yahoo is a growing company and that he fully expects it to weather the storm regardless of the situation.

"I certainly didn't expect the year to be what it's been, coming into it, but I think that the environment which we are in today is extraordinary," Yang said. "I think what Yahoo's been through in 2008 has been extraordinary."

This hasn't been the best year for a lot of people in the tech industry. But nobody can argue that Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang hasn't had a particularly rough time.

"Jerry Yang has had a tough nine months," Web 2.0 Summit host John Battelle of Federated Media said as he introduced the CEO for a talk at the conference here on Wednesday, and went on to list some of his company's much-documented woes. Yang, in a blue blazer and white checkered shirt, slouching a bit in his chair, replied, "That's quite an intro."

But it was still an understatement. Yang took the stage at the high-profile industry conference on the same day that Google announced it was walking away from a 10-year search-advertising deal with Yahoo, which would have brought the beleaguered Sunnyvale, Calif.-based dot-com hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue, due to antitrust concerns. Battelle said that, due to the situation, before the talk started that he'd gotten calls from multiple reporters wondering if Yang would actually show up.

But he did, and he was defiant. "I don't regret any minute of what happened," Yang said. "Because I've been there the whole time, it's a part of me and some people say that's great and some people say 'well, you're just too close to it.'"

Even though Battelle, moderating the "conversation," brought up just about every ghost from Yahoo's recent past--from the "peanut butter memo" to the Microsoft takeover debacle to corporate raider Carl Icahn's attempt to shake things up--the talk proved less than electrifying. The CEO kept driving home a single point: that Yahoo is a growing company and that he fully expects it to weather the storm regardless of the situation.

"I certainly didn't expect the year to be what it's been, coming into it, but I think that the environment which we are in today is extraordinary," Yang said. "I think what Yahoo's been through in 2008 has been extraordinary."

Source: News.cnet.com

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