Saturday, January 13, 2007

The Unofficial Yahoo! "Plan B" Wiki

It has been less than a week since I sat down in front of a webcam in my guest room to record a video asking other Yahoo! shareholders to join me in articulating a "Plan B" which would help the company unlock more value faster than it is currently.

I put forward a draft "Plan B" at the time, which I asked be treated as a "straw man." Since then, you've responded in droves, not only with suggested edits and/or support for "Plan B," but pledging shares at an unprecedented pace.

Today, our unofficial Yahoo! "Plan B" group owns about 70,000 shares of Yahoo!'s stock -- worth approximately $2MM. That's still a long way from our goal of owning 10% of the company -- we need to go from 70K to 133MM, so we have some work -- but it's an amazing start. What's also interesting is that Yahoo!'s stock is up 6.16% since our advocacy began (compared to 3.66% for Google and 2.81% for the NASDAQ over the same time period).

We seem to have caught the interest of the media too. In the past week, we've received inquiries from (a special thanks is due to Vishesh Kumar for his detailed profile before anyone else broke the story), the NY Times' DealBook, Dow Jones, and Red Herring. We've also received coverage and support from Henry Blodget and Mathew Ingram. One aspect of our "Plan B" is always asked about: the wiki. Are you going to really have a wiki? When? How will that work?

At the start of the week, we put the plan on the blog. We got and I'm sure will continue to receive great comments/suggestions. As it was difficult to keep track of them, I created a Vizu poll (actually 2 polls) where our community could vote on the different suggestions. (See the current voting here.)

Yesterday, Riva Richmond of Dow Jones asked again about the wiki: would we eventually put the plan up in a wiki? Coincidentally, this morning, I was contacted by Angela Beesley, a co-founder and VP of Community at With a little help from her, I'm pleased to announce the unofficial Yahoo! "Plan B" Wiki at .

Please check it out and contribute. The plan is obviously very rough in its current form. The plan is for all of us to take part in creating it in the coming weeks (as we continue to build up our shareholder base towards our 10% goal) and then take our "Plan B" to Yahoo!'s management and board.

We are not a protest group, nor are we interested in a quick-flip of Yahoo! shares. We are long-term investors in the company. We are here because we believe Yahoo! is a great investment opportunity with unlocked potential. Rather than sell our shares, we would rather work together on proposing how to unlock that potential -- for the benefit of all shareholders. There are some wonderful and enormously talented employees and directors at Yahoo! We support them and the company. We are working to make your company even better. Many current and former Yahoo! employees have already anonymously pledged their share support. We won't let you down and look to continue to benefit from your unique perspectives.

Thanks. This is a very exciting initiative that's never been tried before in business. I can't wait to see how it ends! It can only benefit Yahoo!'s shareholders.

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Anonymous said...

While this is a clever little publicity stunt I am afraid that there is little substance in your recommendations. After spending 15 minutes reading some of your suggestions for plan B I am convinced you have limited understanding of Yahoo's business. While changes are needed at Yahoo! the actual suggestions you recommend would throw Yahoo! into tailspin. For example, in a growth industry where tens of billions of advertising dollars will flow online over the next 4-6 years why would Yahoo! start issuing a cash-dividend? In fact its relatively weak cash position (vs. goog and msft) puts it at a disadvantage when looking to do buy distribution or do acquisitions?
YHOO doesn't need more vision/strategy rather it needs better execution --- everybody knows that it needs to build a competitive product to AdSense. Everybody knows it needs to improves its new yahoo mail beta product. Everybody knows it needs to redefine the search space to its advantage.

In fact the only thing I do agree with you on is to reformulate the board as these guys were sleeping at the wheel for the past 2 yrs.

Eric Jackson said...

Thanks for your support on board reformulation, Anon. Not everyone will see eye to eye on all things. I think a modest dividend is an important discipline for management and the board. It also forces them further to create even more cash and sends a symbolic message of confidence that they will to shareholders.

Anonymous said...

What are your thoughts for changing Motorola?