In the wake of Microsoft's backing of billionaire investor Carl Icahn, who is attempting to overthrow the Yahoo board of directors, Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang has lashed out at the software giant, accusing it of trying to destabilize his company. If Icahn's move is successful, Yang will find himself ousted from the company he cofounded.
"To trust Mr. Icahn and his board is really a bad choice," Yang told "The Wall Street Journal." "I think that I can bring stability back to Yahoo, and I want to get on with building company. I think that the destabilizing by Microsoft has become more and more intentional. I am not happy about it."
In Yang's view of the ongoing Microsoft/Yahoo saga, Microsoft's current unwillingness to talk to Yahoo's current board of directors is "baffling" given how many times the two companies have come back to the bargaining table. He says that Microsoft has broken off formal talks between the companies.
Microsoft is offering no comment beyond its Monday statement, in which it noted that it has "concluded that we cannot reach an agreement with \[Yahoo\]. We confirm, however, that after the shareholder election, Microsoft would be interested in discussing with a new board a major transaction with Yahoo." In other words, Microsoft is still interested in Yahoo, but only if the current board is ousted during an election event that is scheduled for August 1.
That event is still something of a mystery. While most Yahoo shareholders have not indicated which side they'll take in the battle, Icahn's once-fantastical bid to oust the current board has suddenly become more plausible thanks to Microsoft's backing.