Yahoo president discusses growth plans, Microsoft

During CNBC's Power Lunch, Sue Decker talks about the company's performance and what it would take to do a deal with Redmond or any other party.

Yahoo President Sue Decker is making the rounds Wednesday, talking about the company's Wal-Mart and Havas Digital advertising deals at the Advertising 2.0 conference in New York and then discussing Yahoo's growth plans on CNBC's Power Lunch.

Dan Farber

Here's what Decker had to say during her Power Lunch presentation:

On display ad deals:
"We think this is a really exciting time for display inventory, which is really how the Internet got started with advertising. When after five years of that, and most of the innovation was in search, and we now really feel that display is about to hit a Renaissance, which takes the friction out of the buying and selling of advertising. It's very difficult to do that online today. It takes two weeks to put a campaign out and find all the right audiences. So Yahoo is really focused on how do we make that process less painful and really release the creative resources and energy around building brands and driving products."

On Microsoft talks:
"What I said today is pretty consistent with what (Microsoft CEO) Steve Ballmer said last week at the D-Conference and what (Yahoo CEO) Jerry Yang and I reiterated here at the (event)--that Microsoft has indicated it is in discussions with us about various partnerships and those have been engaged conversations. We have been engaged with them over the last four-and-half months on a number of different ideas they've had, and as long as they enhance shareholder value and maximize that, our board would be very interested in different ways to do that."

On Yahoo's controversial employee severance plans :
"Many companies have change-of-control agreements with acceleration in them or some way to keep employees upon a change of control. In this kind of situation, it is the asset that Microsoft is interested in and it's the asset that our board believes that we have is so valuable is our talent that's creating next-generation products and services. It would be very difficult for an acquirer if the assets left. And so this was designed to keep the talent there until the day we closed (a deal)."

On Carl Icahn's proxy fight and his comments that Yang's severance plans sabotaged the Microsoft deal :
"The $45 billion acquisition price was about keeping the talent, and since Yahoo didn't have any way to keep the talent in a situation (that) was very destabilizing, it meant that the board was appropriately trying to make sure that the value that Microsoft would pay afterwards would be intact if there was a deal."

On Yahoo's stock performance and doing a deal with Microsoft or any other party:
"The goal here with the company is to maximize shareholder value...As we said before, before Microsoft walked away from the deal, there was a discussion about what value was achievable and under what terms...certainty of value and regulatory certainty upon close, and we never got those (discussions) because there was a disconnect between what the company was worth from our board's perspective and what Microsoft was willing to pay...The board remains open to any conversation that maximizes shareholder value."

 

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