Impatience won’t turn Yahoo around
Demanding investors can do more harm than good to the visionary companies they support.
Many investors bring a mindset typical of our tap-the-touchscreen-and-it-appears society into their long-term stock positions. Despite feeling entitled by years of waiting around, you cannot expect instant gratification, particularly when a company requires drastic change just to stay alive.
Labeling the move a "bungle," Jackson expressed frustration: "As a longtime Yahoo shareholder, I've heard Yahoo's management and board promise that they are doing things to increase 'long-term shareholder value' for more than six years!"
Jackson prefers Yahoo use proceeds from its Alibaba divesture for stock buybacks and M&A. He discounts Mayer's attempts to restore employee morale, focus on products and position Yahoo for the long-term. He then, somewhat shockingly, goes on to say:
Sometimes people in [Silicon] Valley get a little disconnected from Wall Street. The Valley elites look down at the Wall Street elites thinking one creates real stuff and the other just makes money off it.
... Like it or not, shareholders are as critical a stakeholder group to Yahoo!'s future as its own employees.
It's exactly that type of attitude that can turn a company into a mess.
Ask Steve Jobs: Shareholders are pests. They persist with demands until a weaker leader, like Tim Cook at Apple (AAPL), loses touch with company culture and sight of the long term and gives in.
Wall Street-types often have a difficult time wrapping their heads around what makes tech companies tick.
Don't take this to mean I think investors should bid YHOO higher right now. Mayer needs to deliver first. Then, and only then, does she deserve considerable, stock-pumping benefit of the doubt. For a legitimate shot at that luxury, however, she requires carte blanche now.
To give her anything but full control would be unfair not only to Mayer, but it would undermine the potential positive impacts of the refreshing decision to hire her.
It took Jeff Bezos more than a decade to get Wall Street in his corner. But, since late 2008, Amazon.com (AMZN) stock has, for the most part, done nothing but go up, despite calls from the peanut gallery that it's "overvalued."
It's safe to say that practically every visionary CEO in Silicon Valley strives to put his or her company in the position Amazon is in. Bezos's track record of execution and offsets concerns around profitability and margins. And rightfully so.
Many will fail. Mayer will succeed. Yahoo will be a survivor.
Shareholders in stocks like YHOO need to put the past behind them. Mayer has nothing to do with it; as such, don't punish her for it. Appreciate the complexity of a turnaround, sit back and enjoy the ride.
More from TheStreet.com
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
Start investing in technology companies with help from financial writers and experts who know the industry best. Learn what to look for in a technology company to make the right investment decisions.
MyMagic+, a $1 billion experiment in crowd control, data collection and wearable technology, could change the way people play -- and spend -- at the Magic Kingdom. But not everyone is singing its praises.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'