Yahoo: For Sale, Maybe

Yahoo for saleYahoo!’s board of directors fired the company’s controversial CEO Carol Bartz earlier this week, and now has let word leak that it is open to selling the company should the right deal come along.

News that the Internet search company is open to buyout offers came courtesy of anonymous insider sources, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Ms. Bartz lost her job as the company’s performance continued to decline and revenue from a deal she brokered with Microsoft for search ads never met expectations. In that deal, Ms. Bartz gave Microsoft control over Yahoo!’s Internet search technology and ad business with the expectation that the deal would boost company revenue.

Yahoo! will be hiring an outside company to help find its next CEO, but that may be a harder task than expected now that a virtual “for sale” sign is out for all to see.

Microsoft unsuccessfully tried to take over Yahoo! before Ms. Bartz was hired as CEO, but hasn’t indicated yet whether or not it would be willing to try again.

Whoever Yahoo! brings in to fill the CEO role will also have to deal with the company’s changing business. Where it once was primarily an Internet search business, the company now seems to be leaning more towards online content — especially since Microsoft took over its search infrastructure.

Yahoo! hasn’t officially said the company is for sale, or what the asking price would be should offers start coming in. With a current Market Cap at US$17.66 billion, however, it’s probably a safe bet that the board will set the selling price much higher in hopes of convincing buyers the company still has potential.