Google Drives Microsoft’s Hostile Bid for Yahoo

This morning, Microsoft offered to buy Yahoo for $44.6 billion in a cash-and-stock deal. While not entirely hostile, as Yahoo’s board is considering the deal, it’s not exactly friendly, either. Steve Ballmer said on a conference call that the two companies have been talking about this for the last 18 months, but that Yahoo management always deferred. Last night Ballmer decided the time was right, called Yahoo CEO and Co-founder Jerry Yang and made the offer.

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Coach Lombardi to Yahoo!: Success ain’t no annuity.

“Success is like anything worthwhile. It has a price. You have to pay the price to win and you have to pay the price to get to the point where success is possible. Most important, you must pay the price to stay there.” Vincent T. Lombardi

OK, so I’ve been writing about Yahoo! this week, and I have football on the brain. Go Giants!
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_Gq5q88uro&rel=1] (Watch this video, an example of huge mental discipline by an indefatigable kicker.)

Anyway, when I read this quotation from the storied Green Bay Packers coach, Vince Lombardi, I thought it was worth sharing.

I mean, look at Yahoo!. (Update: Microsoft makes $44.6-billion offer for Yahoo. ) Once the #1 destination on the Web, the company that helped establish the Internet era is reeling, having lost its vision, lost its product edge, too much top talent, then market share and, of course, market value. (Nielsen Online says Yahoo! can still claim to be #1 in total page views per user per month, but Google is #1 in the more valuable statistic of “average monthly uniques.”) It seems leadership hasn’t been willing to “pay the price to stay there.” And so now Yahoo! will be losing 1,000 of their 14,300 staffers (and an ex-CEO board member!), too.

Lombardi could’ve taught those techies a thing or two: : Success is no annuity. It must be earned, over, and over, and over. Maybe Jerry Yang, et al, will learn this lesson yet. (And maybe Eric Schmidt should take pause, too.)

Let’s hope so, but for now, why don’t we all just thank those Yahoos! for “doing the research” for us on this one. Sit on your duf, even a little, and you’ll find yourself riding out of town on it. So that’s one less business lesson the rest of us have to learn the hard way.

Steve Jobs, Motivational Speaker For Yahoo

[qi:033] Guess who stopped by to give Yahooligans a little pep talk? Steve Jobs! He told the gathering of 300-odd Yahoo (YHOO) vice presidents that they can do anything. The company with one of the largest Internet user bases can do and achieve anything, he apparently told them. (I am channeling a handful of VPs.) He talked about how Apple (AAPL) was down on its luck and made a comeback. Yahooligans were pretty inspired! Now if they made more of their products Mac friendly! More on Steve Jobs’s new gig as motivational speaker later. I am late for my own birthday party! So what’s new!
Update: Kara Swisher has an updated report from the meeting. Apparently it went well, though issues of execution still remain.