When Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer met with Yahoo cofounders CEO Jerry Yang and David Filo on May 3, Yang and Filo refused to come down from their $37 per share price, according to Kara Swisher's new account of the meeting. Yang left thinking everything went well, and that he and ballmer were just starting to dicker over price — which would explain why he and Filo reportedly exchanged high-fives afterwards. The next day, Ballmer told the world Microsoft was withdrawing its offer.
Yang's negotiation gaffe so enraged shareholders that Yahoo chairman Roy Bostock has had to promise them that the Yahoo CEO now has Bostock or other board members in attendance at all ongoing negotiations with Microsoft. "They are telling us it is 'adult supervision,'" one investor told BoomTown, "and that Jerry has more of a realistic attitude now too that some kind of transaction has to happen and Yahoo has few options." Says another: "Jerry is beloved at the company and he knows now that that's at risk if let's this spin out of control any more, so I think he's wised up to the situation." (Photo by Yodel Anecdotal)