Yahoo Responds to Icahn -- a Translation

Last Updated Jul 7, 2008 8:37 PM EDT

Yahoo logoNot long after Carl Icahn, who has been pressuring Yahoo to do a deal with Microsoft, released his "Steve Ballmer and I are buddies" letter, Yahoo officially responded. Because many actions of the board and management have been mystifying to say the least, I've taken it on myself to translate the statement in hopes of fostering better communication.
Yahoo!'s Board of Directors continues to stand ready to enter into negotiations with Microsoft Corporation for an acquisition of Yahoo!.
We're not sure we're willing to actually come to an agreement, but efforts count, don't they?
Indeed, as recently as June, Yahoo!'s independent directors and management approached Steve Ballmer about just such a transaction, only to be told that Microsoft was no longer interested even in the price range which they had previously proposed.
Some CEOs just don't get "coy."
Now Mr. Ballmer and Mr. Icahn have teamed up in an apparent effort --
We keep hoping that we're misinterpreting it.
--to force Yahoo! into selling to Microsoft its Search business at a price to be determined in a future "negotiation" between Mr. Icahn's directors and Microsoft's management.
And we're supposed to find new jobs? We don't think so.
We feel very strongly that this would not lead to an outcome that would be in the best interests of Yahoo!'s stockholders.
We polled every single stockholder in the room with us.
If Microsoft and Mr. Ballmer really want to purchase Yahoo!, we again invite them to make a proposal immediately.
We have MDD, management deficit disorder, and can't remember the last number they offered.
And if Mr. Icahn has an actual plan for Yahoo! beyond hoping that Microsoft might actually consummate a deal which they have repeatedly walked away from, we would be very interested in hearing it.
OK, OK, so we walked away. Same difference.
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    Erik Sherman is a widely published writer and editor who also does select ghosting and corporate work. The views expressed in this column belong to Sherman and do not represent the views of CBS Interactive. Follow him on Twitter at @ErikSherman or on Facebook.