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Yahoo for sale? Don't ask interim CEO Tim Morse

During Yahoo's quarterly earnings call, interim Chief Executive Tim Morse declined to discuss anything regarding potential suitors for the company or progress on selecting new leadership.

Jay Greene Former Staff Writer
Jay Greene, a CNET senior writer, works from Seattle and focuses on investigations and analysis. He's a former Seattle bureau chief for BusinessWeek and author of the book "Design Is How It Works: How the Smartest Companies Turn Products into Icons" (Penguin/Portfolio).
Jay Greene
2 min read

On Yahoo's third-quarter earnings call this afternoon, Tim Morse took time to answer just about every question, except the ones that analysts most wanted to hear: When will Yahoo's board decide what to do with the company?

Despite Yahoo's better-than-expected results, questions about its future are the most pressing ones. The company, which fired its chief executive Carol Bartz last month, has increasingly been rumored to be considering takeover offers. A raft of companies have lined up to kick the tires, according to various reports, including Silver Lake Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, and the Chinese Internet company Alibaba.

Yahoo's Tim Morse Yahoo

Morse tried to defuse the queries before they started, briefly noting in his opening remarks that no news on a possible sale would be forthcoming.

"It will not be today, and not on this call," Morse said.

That didn't stop analysts, though, from trying to pull any morsel of information out of him. One analyst asked if the board had a timetable for coming to a decision.

"This will take some time," Morse said. "The board wants to do what's right for the company."

Another analyst got a similar non-answer to a question about the board's progress on replacing Bartz.

"It's under way," Morse said of the executive search. "That's the board's process and I don't have any comment on the board's process."

At one point, an analyst asked if Morse could explain why the board canned Bartz during a quarter when Yahoo exceeded analysts' financial expectations.

"The board's process is the board's process," Morse said, saying, of course, nothing.