If you're an investor in Yahoo these days, chances are good that you are less than thrilled with the current leadership of CEO Marissa "Evita" Mayer.
That might seem like a facile and cruel take, but if you're not upset with Mayer you are in the tiniest of minorities. Seemingly every other Yahoo investor has made it clear that they are f@cking livid with how things are going over in the Purple Kingdom and growing litany of activist investment groups have stepped up their calls for Marissa to either sell Yahoo's core search business or get out of the way for a new executive who will.
And there's also the matter of how Yahoo stock has performed in the last year or so:
Not even Yahoo Finance can clean up that picture.
On top of the company's actual performance, there is an undeniable and growing sense that is Mayer is acting like a tech Nero, dithering while Yahoo burns.
Marissa has started layoffs - both purposeful and accidental - compressed media businesses and seemingly tried to find a plan for what to do next. But every time it seems like she has careened close to some kind of resolution, news leaks that she's still pondering. Meanwhile, she has thrown a lavish holiday party, totally misread staff morale, heaped raises on some Yahoo talent and demanded fealty from senior executives already sizing up lifeboats.
Now, according the NY Post, it finally seems like Marissa is at least appearing to act like she's going to sell. And one major indication of that vague intention is the team of advisors that she has reportedly assembled around her.
Nevertheless, insiders said some investors remain concerned about the auction process. While Yahoo has hired Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and PJT Partners for the job, sources said Mayer has tapped veteran tech banker Frank Quattrone to explore sale options as well.
In particular, some sources say Quattrone appears to be trying to sell Yahoo and Mayer as a package deal.
So Marissa is going to fight off activists by putting Goldman, JPMorgan, Blackstone spinoff advisory firm PJT and Frank Quattrone at the same table?
What could go right wrong?
This is essentially rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic, but the guys doing the rearranging are all most concerned about the relative value of their specific chairs. Meanwhile one of them is running around stroking his mustache and trying to convince the crew to keep sailing with the captain once she sails through the iceberg.
Mayer's leadership is objectively viewed as one of Yahoo's most toxic assets at this point, a situation that Goldman surely understands and one which likely makes them rather annoyed with Quattrone's machinations.
It looks good at first blush to create a Dream Team of advisors, especially when everything you've done so far has been disastrous, but the common thinking when one assembles a basketball team of all-stars is that you immediately face the problem that there is only one ball.
In this case, the ball doesn't even have any air in it... because the ball is Yahoo.