Jerry Yang, Yahoo's Pinata

Last Updated Jun 16, 2008 9:26 PM EDT

So what's that water cooler conversation going to sound like at the Yahoo executive suite today? Probably something like this:

Sue Decker: So Jerry how was your weekend?


Jerry Yang: Not too bad. I didn't have to talk to Steve (Ballmer) so how bad could it have been. But I could have lived without the New York Times assault. At least Carl Icahn isn't kicking me. Overall though the weather was great.

Icahn told Reuters that the Yahoo-Google ad deal has merit. To be sure, Icahn may be just trying to prop up his stake long enough to bail, but that's the closest Jerry got to any support this weekend.

Here's what Icahn said to Reuters:

"While the Google deal is not the same as an offer of $34.375 per share for Yahoo, I am continuing to study it, and it might have some merit."

That Icahn statement isn't exactly a ringing endorsement of Yang, but it's the best Jerry has right now. If Jerry chose to log on this weekend here's what he would have read: Yang is a shareholder debacle according to the New York Times. He botched this Microsoft bid. He's got weeks at the helm not months (definitely not years). Yahoo's deal with Google is sketchy (or is it?). And now he's so bad that Fake Steve Jobs gives Fake Jerry a confessional (the best read of the weekend by the way).

Good thing for Jerry that none of these peopleâ€"bloggers, columnists and other armchair Web titansâ€"have absolutely no power over Yahoo, Yang or shareholders.

However, if this angst does represent Yahoo employees Jerry has issues. The message: Jerry's days are numbered. I can't help but wonder about the crow that will be eaten if Jerry does actually stick and pulls off a turnaround. Doubtful, but you never know. Safe to say Jerry's seat is pretty hot right now.

Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and Editorial Director of ZDNet sister site TechRepublic. See his full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.
Credit: ZDNet

  • Larry Dignan

    Larry Dignan is editor in chief of ZDNet and editorial director of CNET's TechRepublic. He has covered the technology and financial-services industries since 1995.