Jerry Yang finally takes advice from experts
Jerry Yang should have reached out this weekend to some fellow much-criticized celebrities in order to decide how to deal with Yahoo's crisis.
The Chief Yahooey, Jerry Yang, has had enough.
Enough of journalists, bloggers, analysts, and all those who claim to know more about running his business than he does.
The simple fact is that he should have slipped down to Shutters on the Beach last weekend and met with two of the world's most important people, people who themselves have endured criticism from Lesser Beings.
Actor Tom Cruise and President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela.
Is there any question that these two could help Mr. Yang solve the Yahoo crisis? Here's how it might have gone.
"I am glad you called me," begins Mr. Cruise. "As I've said before, when you see a car crash, only a Scientologist can help."
"I'm don't know what Ballmer believes," replies Yang, "so that explains a lot.... Hold on, Yahoo is NOT a wreck. We're very profitable."
"Have you ever had an audit?" asks Cruise.
"Of course. Our numbers are great," protests Yang.
"I mean an audit from the great firm of L, Ron and Hubbard," says Cruise.
"In the Church of Scientology, we give you an audit that looks at your purity, your morals, your ethics. You know, the big stuff," explains Cruise.
"Everyone knows I am completely ethical," insists Yang.
"That severance plan, though," says Cruise. "I mean, come on, Jerry. That wasn't exactly helping your would-be Thetans, er, I mean, shareholders."
Before Yang can answer, President Chavez, who has been smiling beatifically in his direction, leans forward, gesticulating wildly: "Man, I LOVED that severance thing you did. Now that was socialism at its finest. Just when the Great Satan wants to take you over, you give your people an extra incentive to leave. I tried that with my enemies in Venezuela. But you're doing it with your friends. Incredible."
"Oh, thank you," says a touched Yang.
"Now you need to rise above all those capitalists," continues Chavez.
"How do you mean?" asks Yang, chewing on his second strawberry shortcake.
"Well, I have a brother who's education minister, a cousin who is in charge at our oil company and my Dad is a state governor. You must have SOME family you can put in charge of everything.."
"There's my wife," says Yang.
"Ah, I've had two of them. I prefer blood relations. Just remove your Board of Directors and keep it all in the family. You know, cousins, uncles, that sort of thing."
At this point, Mr. Cruise chimes in again: "I love that family part. Can you go on Oprah, jump up and down on her sofa and tell the world how much you love your wife?"
"Won't people think I'm crazy?" wonders Yang.
"There's no such thing as crazy, Jerry. Just don't take any anti-depressants."
"Well, I've been a little stressed lately," admits Mr. Yang.
"Jerry, you are an immortal, spiritual being," says Mr. Cruise, firmly.
"Unless the Great Satan tries to eliminate you," gruffs Chavez, looking a little tired of Cruise's science fiction.
"You can survive elimination, Jerry. Go to scientology.org. Life is eight dynamics. You just get all eight to work in harmony and you will survive anything."
"How do I do that?" asked Yang, temporarily mesmerized.
"By selling Yahoo to the Church of Scientology, Jerry," says Cruise. "We can help your searchers find. We can help your groups discover everlasting union. And we can show you how to make a lot more money. I mean, do you know how much Travolta gives the Church every time he makes a movie?"
"Callate, hijo!" exclaims a suddenly heated Chavez. "I came here to make an offer myself. I want to buy Yahoo on behalf of my country. I would make it compulsory for everyone in Venezuela to become a Yahoo member. That's 26 million new customers. And each would have a share in the company. Naturally, my family would have all the voting shares."
"But that's corrupt."
"No, business is corrupt, my friend. I am talking the Ideal Paternalistic Socialism. Like your original Yahoo. Think about it. No more Wall Street. No more bigmouth shareholders. No more uncertainty. And we can find out what Jenna Bush is writing to her friends," concludes Chavez, a sweet smile imposing a military coup on his lips.
As Jerry looks on, wondering how it is that these are his two remaining white knights, Mr. Cruise gets up on the hotel sofa and screams: "YES, ICAHN!!!! NO, HE CAHN'T!!!"
The Venezuelan President joins in the chant. But at this very moment, Jerry Yang decides to go with Tom Cruise. The man was in Mission Impossible, after all.