Yahoo's Bartz willing to sell search

But, CEO Carol Bartz says, the right company would have to have a technology she believes in and "boatloads of money."

CARLSBAD, Calif.--Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz said Wednesday that her company continues to have talks with Microsoft on a search deal and indicated a willingness to sell.

The prerequisites, she said, are the right price, a technology she believes in, and access to the data her company needs.

Carol Bartz
When asked whether her company is talking with Microsoft, Yahoo's Carol Bartz said: 'Yeah, a little bit.' Ina Fried/CNET

"There's two parties in all this," she said in a speech at the D: All Things Digital conference here. "The other party has to have boatloads of money and the right technology."

Asked whether Microsoft and Yahoo are actively talking, Bartz said. "Yeah, a little bit."

Microsoft would appear to fit her bill on the money front, and the company plans to debut a new search technology on Thursday. However, a deal does not appear imminent.

She rejected the notion put forth by folks like the Twitter co-founders did on Tuesday by saying they would never sell. "Never is a long time."

Asked whether she would sell the whole company. "They'd have to have big boatloads of money."

She said it's not really about whether a CEO imagines selling. Executives have a responsibility to consider any offer and whether it is in the best interest of shareholders. She wouldn't say whether Yahoo lived up to its duty in evaluating Microsoft's initial offer.

"I don't know what happened last year and, frankly, I don't care," Bartz said.

Earlier in her chat, Bartz talked about the need for improving Yahoo's internal organization. However, Bartz said one thing she doesn't need is a single chief deputy.

"I don't need a No. 2 because I don't want to be removed from the business," she said.

Bartz was asked how long she is going to be at Yahoo. She noted that it's public that she has a four-year contract, but said that's just the popular term for employment deals.

"I'm going to get the job done, so it's going to be at least that long if not longer," she said.

Bartz was also asked about the now-famous " Peanut Butter Manifesto " that suggested the company was spread too thin.

"I do agree with that," she said. "Yahoo might have been a little ADD for a while."

As for Google, Bartz said it is a "fierce" competitor.

"They don't have the positioning we have," she said. "They don't have the brand we have." She noted that the company doesn't match one to one in every area, but said there are still opportunities. "The game for search in mobile is not over."

 

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