Here's why Jerry Yang is all wet as CEO

Many tech CEOS think and speak in PR-scripted monotones and sound like Stepford-like robot clones. News.com's Charlie Cooper wishes they'd just stand up and speak the truth.

So, I'm sitting at my desk listening to the Yahoo conference call , and Jerry Yang is droning on about how the restructured deal with AT&T will work to the great benefit of both companies. Oh brother.

I know this is a niggling detail but why can't Yang just come right out and acknowledge the truth? Everybody knows what happened here. AT&T has long wanted to rewrite the terms of an agreement that was heavily weighted in Yahoo's favor. Yahoo wanted to continue the deal, but AT&T wanted a fairer deal--or else it would walk. No big deal. That's the nature of business.

Yahoo made the right decision but it's going to cost more than a few shekels. But instead of honestly addressing the renegotiated contract, Yang ran a bunch of business-speak jive about how wonderful this all is. Yeah, sure, Jerry. (At least his CFO allowed that there would be a near-term hit.)

But more to the point: a great corporate leader shoulders the responsibility for making tough decisions. But did Yang mention anything in his prepared comments about the 1,000 or so people Yahoo is planning to fire? Nope. Again, he left that one to his lieutenant--the news came 39 minutes into the conference call.

Here's the problem with so many tech CEOs these days. They think and speak in PR-scripted monotones and sound like Stepford-like robot clones. Honestly, I'd prefer to rip out my brains with a plastic fork than suffer through most of these gasbag deliveries. But it's earnings time, and if you want to learn what these clowns are thinking, it's a cross we must bear.

 

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