Billionaire Ron Burkle, who the unions have enlisted to save them from the evil clutches of News Corp (NYSE:NWS) Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch, is trying to convinced the Internet giant to join him in a bid for the owner of the Wall Street Journal, according to Fortune.
Why the unions think the Burkle is a such a good guy is a little baffling. The supermarket mogul won't get many Christmas cards from shareholders since, as a member of Yahoo's compensation committee, he helped Semel get his outrageous $70 million pay package.
Yahoo should tell Burkle to take a hike. The company's whole strategy has been based on the fact that it DOESN'T NEED TO OWN CONTENT. Executives have made this point to me in person. They've made this point to other journalists. They've made this point to Wall Street analysts. Most importantly, though, Yahoo has made this point to content providers who are nervous about the small amount of original content that the company does produce.
Joining the bidding war for Dow Jones makes no sense for Yahoo. The company has plenty of problems of its own, including how to diplomatically shove Semel out of the door. The theory is that he can do less damage as chairman, until he's given the chance to make a graceful exit, while Jerry Yang gets his feet wet as chief executive.
Susan Decker, who gained kudos on Wall Street during her tenure as CFO, would have made a better choice. She has become president and it wouldn't surprise me if she eventually left the company as well.