Silicon Valley Feeling A Frank Quattrone-Sized Disturbance In The Force

"The Frank Awakens."
Author:
Publish date:
Updated on

Barely recognizable.

Here's a thought that's gone through the heads of more than one person in recent months:

"Who the f@ck is advising Marissa Mayer over at Yahoo(YHOO)?"

Well, The WSJ has an answer, and to the delight of almost no one (we're looking at you, Meg Whitman) it's none other than the Ron Jeremy of Silicon Valley money, Frank Quattrone!

Yahoo Inc. Chief Executive Marissa Mayer says she sees Mr. Quattrone at least every other week socially or to talk about business, including “broad management philosophies” and views on technology “shifts.”
They live in the same building in San Francisco and met at a black-tie dinner while Ms. Mayer was working for Google, now part of Alphabet Inc. He told her about searching Google for instructions on tying the bow tie he was wearing that night. She says they also talked in person the weekend after Yahoo hired her as CEO in 2012.

This explains a lot. Marissa's deals for Yahoo have been "questionable" at best even though she told everyone that they were veritable game-changers, so perhaps she took a page from the Quattrone playbook...

His ambition is as bold as ever. He says he wants to put together transactions “that would rock the world and change the industry,” not the “little deals that Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs wouldn’t take.”

Ah, that Quattrone charm. We missed this dude. Where has he been since that whole "acquittal on obstruction of justice charges"/"getting burned HARD by the dot-com bubble bursting" thing anyway?

His regulatory woes sidelined him for more than three years after the dot-com bubble burst. Mr. Quattrone went through a long period of “soul-searching,” he says. He didn’t think he would go back to investment banking but then decided to.
He has trimmed the bushy mustache and unruly hair that were part of his image for years. A framed caricature in his office shows Mr. Quattrone as a mustachioed pope.

Welcome back, Papa Frank.

When Aruba Networks Inc. was considering a sale of the wireless-networking company to Hewlett-Packard Co. last year, the board of directors turned to an investment banker who made his name during the last technology boom.
Frank Quattrone worked for 4½ months trying to nail down a deal. But then there was a problem. H-P Chief Executive Meg Whitman refused to negotiate with Mr. Quattrone because he had been so difficult to deal with in previous deals, says someone close to Ms. Whitman.
Aruba brought in another investment bank to finish the $3 billion takeover agreement. That firm was paid $7.7 million for its work. Mr. Quattrone’s firm got $30 million.

Welcome back, indeed.

Behind Frank Quattrone’s Comeback in New Tech Era [WSJ]

Related