Tuesday, December 16, 2008
When was the last time you did something really well for $1? I can remember how long ago it was that I worked hard for $1. It was more than 40 years ago. It was Norfolk Virginia and it was 1968. I was a kid.
I was not trying to watch over a company with international visibility, international responsibility, and over 10,000 employees. You don't get anyone to do what they need to do in these cases by allowing them to take a salary of $1 which is really merely symbolic.
Were I to become CEO of Yahoo, NOBODY on our payroll would be entitled to take a $1 salary. You'd take a paycheck and donate if you wanted to, if you had millions in the bank and did not 'need' the money, then you could donate it to some charity in your own name.
We'd also cap the salaries within the company so that people were more focused on doing the work vs. just the money. Some who get salaries sit on their hands because they are on a salary. So you need to encourage them in some way to do more work. We have ways of doing this that will allow for people to share in the wealth of the company as long as we do well and always beat estimates and keep our shareholders happy. Employees are shareholders so this would benefit them as well.
More on this when Yahoo comes through .
If you're an investor in a company that's doing pretty good, but losing marketshare and all of a sudden in the midst of things, the CEO decides to NOT do a deal with a major corporation, should you be worried? No, not really. He does have another plan right? Well...in some cases the answer is yes, and in the case of Yahoo, it was YES, but...it did not involve doing the company any good. In this case the CEO just said "I am stepping down, but when my successor is found, I will hang around to do what I've always done". Should you be worried? OH Yes.
Now, in the world of corporate America there's a perception that you have to pay a CEO many millions of dollars to run a company. It's a myth that was created long ago. It's not one that hold much water if you look around at how literally screwed up the economy in our country is.
I've always held a belief that to be at the top of a company and to run things you really had to have a passion for doing them. You had to believe in the product being produced and you had to always look out for its best interests.
Let me give you examples in recent history of those NOT looking out for the best interest of the company, or the products:
A. Scott McNealy & Jonathan Schwartz - Scott thought it would be a great idea to continue his rampage of Bill Gates and how screwed up things were at Microsoft (I was working there at the time) as our stock was trading in the $130 per share range. What happened? The bottom fell out of the company and the stock plunged so fast people thought the Titanic was sinking again. It never recovered and is trading so low that you need a magnifying glass to find it.
B. Yahoo Founder Jerry Yang in the midst of things getting a bit tough at the company after making a decision NOT to sell of the foundation of the company (SEARCH) to Microsoft decides that after he's trashed the deal that he'll just "step down" before a successor has been found, basically leaving the cart without a horse sailing down a hill out of control. How did it effect the stock, basically it broke it in half and now the stock bounces between 9.50 and 13.50 per share. It had traded in the $455 range at one point in company history. A long way to fall valuation-wise from 455.00 per share to 13.50 per share. Substantial to say the least.
C. The combined heads of the BIG 3 automakers. Why do we combine them here? Because hopefully out of the 3 being slammed into one another and achieving a critical mass, you might actually get half of a head that understands that they're trying to sink a portion of Americana that people are not sitting still for.
D. The CEOs of ANY Bank in the USA. Because basically they're all crooks and they're getting a bailout without any questions of why they're needing it, where the money is that they're missing, and why the taxpayers should foot their bill while they dump many of us onto the streets by selling loans off to foreign banks who have no interest in Americans keeping their homes.
In ALL of these cases, these people were paid multiple millions of dollars basically to trash the companies which they were tasked with leading. Now how can I say this after they did such a good job? Well...look at the good, weigh it with the bad and you have your answers. Also look around you and see how many people are losing their jobs, how many companies have layoffs because they can't afford to pay their people, and how many of these CEOs leap out the window with a proverbial parachute made of gold. Too bad they're really not made of gold though. When that sucker hit's the ground with that parachute slamming into them and driving them through the pavement...that kind of expresses how some people feel that leave these companies and have to go out and get a job while these people sit at home in the lap of luxury laughing all the way to the bank.
What should happen is that their 'packages' should get curtailed and they should have to file for unemployment as well, no matter their financial status. Just to have it in public record that they were fired, or quit.
Now, is this a slam on rich people? Absolutely not. I love the rich. I love people that participate in society and give to help others. Do I think that Teachers should be paid more? Oh yes. Do I think that Sports puts their people way too high on a pedastal? Ask OJ how the food in Jail is now that he's there. Ask Michael Vick what he thinks of life in the IronBarHotel. Is it 5Star service that he gets? Or can he sit down after a meal?
So what does all of this have to do with me wanting to be CEO of Yahoo Inc? Simple. Years ago I was challenged to run for CEO of a major computer company. During the time of being interviewed for that by some reporters I was asked what I would do the job for money-wise. I said $88,000 for a year. They laughed at me. Sure it was a low figure, but people focus on the money too much. Now our country is questioning why companies pay CEO's millions and millions of dollars to do what they do and why would I do something for such a low price back then?
Because it was not about the money. It was about the company, the people, the products, the clients and the investors. That was 1997, the company was Apple. The person I was challenged to run against was my ex-boss at PIXAR, Steve Jobs. When I left PIXAR in 1997 and left in $ value considering my options were granted at a pre-IPO price, right around 2 Million dollars on the table to help encourage Steve to go back to Apple and become CEO again. How many people would do that for something they believe in? Not many.
Do I believe in Yahoo enough to sacrifice anything? Yes. I already have and they're jockeying around courting others when they should be calling me to schedule my move-in to the top office.
I have put my name out there. I have offered to take on this position for a price that NO other CEO will. $2 Million after taxes with full benefits package offered normally, minus the golden parachute option.
Why? Because Yahoo is so much more than a turn-around opportunity. It's more than a chance to add another notch into the turn around belt. It's people. It's great products/services. It's clients. And lastly, it's Investors. Many CEO's get that order mixed up. They put Investors first, forgetting that without all of the other things, there is nothing for investors to invest in.
If I were Jerry Yang, I would have asked myself, is this Microsoft deal good for the people of the company? (they are investors as well). The answer was really "Yes, but only in the short term". In the end it would have meant the gradual erosion of Yahoo into nothingness. Yahoo would have just become another Microsoft property and gradually would have disappeared from the map. Search would have been trashed by Microsoft's people as MSN search was after they stopped licensing Google's results, and Google would be the only place to get search results from, save a few insignificant search engines.
Jerry stepped down. I am ready to step in. I just need the current Board and Management Team at Yahoo to step up with a contract for 2 years and that $2 million in pay plus benefits and we can be off turning the company around, creating new partnerships/relationships and opportunities for Yahoo as a company. I have some great ideas, but they're staying with me until I am CEO of that company. When that happens...Life will be better for all involved.
Thanks for taking time to read.
Michael Murdock, CEO
Check out http://www.docmurdock.com/yahoo.htm for more on me as CEO of Yahoo
Monday, December 08, 2008
Alright folks. It's time to get serious. Around this time of the year, the thieves who will rob you blind on the web are out in force. I will be posting a sample of an Ebay fraud email that I recently got which looked so real I almost clicked on it, but tonight we're talking PayPal.
PayPal is now an Ebay company. What does that mean? It means that they know your name and they will NEVER address you by the term PAYPAL MEMBER or what you see in these example images I am going to include below. Look these over carefully. If you've ever used PayPal or any service like it, these look legit. They are not. If you get one in your mailbox, do not, I repeat DO NOT click anythi
ng inside the email. If you do, you'll begin to regret it in about 10 minutes or less. It depends on how fast you can call your bank to cancel any credit cards you have linked anywhere on the web, because these folks will find you and rob you blind. I am not kidding about this. It's something I warn people about all the time, but once in a while I get that frantic call "HELP, MICHAEL, WHAT DO I DO?"
So to avoid having to call me for anything other than to sign up to do SEO business :) Please look over the following images and keep them fresh in your head the next time you're on the phone chatting, checking email and all of a sudden one pops up and you get distracted and click. You'll know that you were warned about it. If you do click, I will never say I told you so. I can help you, but you have to get in touch
with me right away, after you unplug your computer from the network and shut it down.
Here's the emails. These are not samples. They are the real deal, but these are pictures of them.
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Well yesterday was an interesting day. It's fun to once in a while shake things up in Tech. See I have been around long enough to know that nobody takes you seriously in this unless you have a few million in the bank and have run a bunch of large companies into the ground.
What I do choose to point out is that there are a lot of people who've invested in Yahoo and lost their backside. Now, every day the company which is right now profitable is spending money and not making real progress to fix things that could bring it closer to recovering to the point of where more people want to invest in it. So it's sort of a Loss-Leader. Eventually people will get tired of it, pull all of their money out and it will dry up and wither away.
You read about all of the prospective buyout offers...have to be approved by a majority of shareholders (Icahn only has 5% of the company), the remaining investors will SUE Yang and the others if their investments are not protected and will tie up any deals they don't like in court for so long forcing both sides to rescind them.
Yahoo keeps saying it wants to be bold. It wants to be something again, but Jerry keeps saying how he thinks it's time for a new leader, but he wants to stay on. Nobody wants that over their head. I sure don't. The only way I will come in as CEO is if the current board steps aside along with the Management team to be replaced by people of my choosing. They'll be experienced people, but they'll have no ties to Yahoo's past. They'll not be former officers of the company looking to make a name. They will not be founders wanting to have their hands in things. They'll be a board that will understand that this CEO makes policy while respecting their opinions, but really only wants them there as corporate figureheads, nothing more. And, this CEO will be President & CEO of the company. No Susan Decker around looking bad enough to be singled out in a poll and listed more important to fire, than to make a deal with AOL. That's pretty sad Susan. Who did you piss off?
Yahoo needs someone who has focus on a vision and imparts that vision to everyone else in the company in such a way that they are excited about it. Also in such a way that they understand that their mission in the company is to bring that vision to life. If they don't agree with it, if they don't want to help with it, then their mission is to pack up and find some other place to rest their backside. I never said that I'd come in and not lay anyone off. That I would not make cuts deeper than any previous CEO. That I would not expect EVERY salaried employee to extend their workday if necessary to see that they're job was done and to ensure that their part of the company was on track to be profitable. I would expect that, and I would be laying people off to slim down excess. I would be with my team going through every single property that we own and evaluating it for profit potential. I would be going through every license agreement that we had and evaluating it for benefit to Yahoo. There's a lot I would do.
My thought is that Yahoo is going to dilly-dally around and miss out on the opportunity to bring me on. I am not going to spend my time offering things to them much longer. In fact my offer to come in as CEO at the salary that I am offering to do this for will expire on 12/31/2008 at Midnight ARIZONA TIME, that's 11:00pm California Time. After that, the price will triple or simply be non-affordable for Yahoo, Inc.
I guess we'll wait and see what happens. In the meantime if there is a company out there who does desire someone with a go-get-it-done attitude and one who will make changes to a company, send me an email. I will be happy to consult with you about how to change your company and get you on the right track. The cost? We'll talk, but my engagement price is well known, and it's NOT on my current website.
Michael Murdock, CEO