Morning Coffee Nov 30 2011

New Year to Usher in Changes at Yahoo

By joseph walker

Pondering Power (WSJ)

Next year promises to hold big changes for Yahoo's 13,600 employees. The Sunnyvale, Calif. firm wants to sell off a minority stake by the end of this year, WSJ reports. It has received three different bids of up to $18 per share for a 20% ownership stake.

The most high profile bidder is a group of investors headed by private equity firm Silver Lake Partners, which attracted controversy over the summer amid reports that it fired executives from Skype, which it owned, to avoid paying stock option awards when the company was acquired by Microsoft. Silver Lake is partnering in its bid with Microsoft and venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.

Silver Lake offered $16.60 a share, Bloomberg reports, a lower price than that offered by competing bidder TPG Capital. What might give Silver Lake a leg up despite its lower offer is that it has famed entrepreneur and venture capitalist Marc Andreessen on its side. The co-founder of Netscape, current H-P board member and investor in Zynga is rumored to be mulling a plan to join Yahoo's board or even become its executive chairman should his group's bid be accepted.

Andreessen is still considering whether trying to turn around Yahoo is a task he is up to, AllThingsD reports. He has made it clear that Yahoo has dug itself into a pretty steep hole and he is uncertain whether anyone can turn the company around. Should Andreessen take on the leadership role, his cachet in Silicon Valley could attract the elite engineers that Yahoo so desperately needs.

Sweet Deal (Business Insider)

Pandora Chief Executive Joseph Kennedy will receive a year's salary, a bonus and stock options if he's fired. Kennedy's base salary will be $400,000 in 2012.

New Roles (Facebook)

Following its settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, Facebook has created two new executive positions to help better guard its users' personal data. Erin Egan will become chief privacy officer for policy, while Michael Richter will assume the same title but in charge of products. Both lawyers are current Facebook employees.

Mythbusting (AllThingsD)

Intel Chief Executive Paul Otellini disputes perceptions that the chip maker is on the decline since it isn't strong in the mobile phone market. The PC market in the developing world is growing fast, he says, and Intel chips play a big part in the cloud computing revolution.

Feud (Business Insider)

A blogging battle has erupted between venture capitalist Michael Arrington and an early Netscape engineer over whether start-ups exploit their employees.

H-P On Fire (Bloomberg)

After reports surfaced that hackers could set Hewlett-Packard laser printers ablaze, the company is firing back. The reports are false, H-P said, while admitting an unspecified "potential security vulnerability."

One for the Team (AllThingsD)

Zynga Chief Executive Mark Pincus will not sell any of his shares in the company during its IPO, which could signal to investors that Pincus is committed to the company's success. It could also help repair his reputation as the "greedy Mr. Potter of Silicon Valley," Kara Swisher writes.

Occupy Facebook (WSJ)

Investor appetite for a Facebook IPO is so ravenous that the company might be able to go public without using investment bankers to attract buyers. Google did the same when it went public in 2004.

Buzz Around the Office

Spinning Out (YouTube)

Note to viewer: This may cause dizziness. Swallow your breakfast before watching.

List of the Day: Holiday Parties

Here's a list of what not to do when you're crowding around the eggnog at the firm's holiday party.

1. Don't talk about work. Show you have a life outside of what you do

2. Don't ask your boss for a raise. Not the time

3. Don't show off your exotic dancing skills

(Source: Here is the City)



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