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Search Biz: Yahoo Wants A New CEO, And Fast; Qi Lu To MSFT; DOJ Was This Close To Suing Google
Will Yahoo have a new CEO by the end of the month? That’s the word from sources talking to AllThingsD today. The report says Yahoo has put together an informal search committee to help executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles find a new CEO. There’s reportedly a list of six criteria the new Yahoo CEO should meet. And throwing more confusion into the mix is the ongoing talks about a merger/sale with AOL, and the internal uncertainty whether that’s the right way forward for Yahoo. As AllThingsD points out, this might be too much to sort out within the next four weeks.
Speaking of Yahoo and AOL, board member Carl Icahn — who pushed for the departure of Jerry Yang and recently upped his ownership stake in Yahoo — told CNBC yesterday that he’s against selling to AOL because Yahoo’s stock is undervalued right now.
Another big name from Yahoo may be headed to Microsoft soon. AllThingsD says the highly-regarded Qi Lu may be named chief of Microsoft’s digital division next week. Microsoft has now confirmed that Dr. Qi Lu will lead up the Online Services Group. Just a couple weeks ago, we reported on the departure of Yahoo search vet Sean Suchter to Microsoft.
Almost a month after Google abandoned its search ad deal with Yahoo, more details are emerging about the legal aspects of the situation. We learned at the time that the U.S. government was planning to challenge the agreement, but we didn’t know the immediacy of that challenge. CNET cites an item in American Lawyer’s AmLaw Daily that says the Department of Justice was just three hours from filing an antitrust suit against Google.
AmLaw Daily spoke with Sandy Litvack, the DOJ’s hired attorney investigating the Google-Yahoo search ad deal, who explained what happened:
“We were going to file the complaint at a certain time during the day. We told them we were going to file the complaint at that time of day. Three hours before, they told us they were abandoning the agreement.”
When it walked away from the deal, Google cited “a protracted legal battle but also damage to relationships with valued partners” as its reasons.