Semel Speaks at Harvard

Terry Semel spoke to MBA students at Harvard on September 20th. Yahoo CEO Describes Art of the Deal from HBS Working Knowledge has the story. Semel sheds some “behind the scenes” info about the Overture and Inktomi acquisitions.

The fuel for Yahoo since he arrived, he said, has been acquisitions. The biggest price tag to date has been for Overture, a search advertising company, for $1.63 billion. This negotiation was seemingly interminable–“We closed and got board approval three times,” he said–but it also illustrated the importance of careful analysis and patience, Semel said.

“Our teams established a relationship, and everyone liked each other. We were [Overture’s] biggest client already by far. They could not afford to lose us as a client, and every day we would remind them of that.

“There was just one problem for us: There was nowhere else for us to go.”

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