If Carol doesn’t believe in Yahoo! why should we?

Wed 9 September 2009 15:00, Louis Venter

If Carol doesn’t believe in Yahoo! why should we?

The Guardian recently discovered that Carol Bartz, C.E.O of Yahoo!, sold $830,000 (£508,000) of Yahoo! stock in March of this year, and a further $1.4m (£857,000) in June. This amounts to 46% of her share options in the ailing company. Not an insignificant amount and very poorly timed considering the recent Bing search deal.

This flies in the face of her recent leaked memo where she grumbled, "get out of the sugar low – we have work to do. Stop staring at our navels, stop arguing with each other. Stop debate, debate, debate, and let's focus on the competition."

So, it’s pretty much a case of do as I say not as I do. Be motivated and innovative but hey, I’m cashing in before the share price drops too much.

It’s also a grim reflection on the state of valuations and share prices in tech companies. There are a few companies’ valuations that are vastly overpriced when their earning potential is closely analysed. If a major players’ CEO thinks it’s the best time to sell, is this the start of another bubble burst? Does she feel powerless to affect change?

When Bartz was hired in January, the Wall Street Journal called her the “safe” pick; I wonder what they think now. 

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