Updated with video below: Terry Semel, CEO of Yahoo,speaking at an event in NYC, said he had turned down an offer from Microsoft to buy a stake in Yahoo’s search business and that discussions about Bill Gates’ software group acquiring the company had not taken place, reports FT.
“[We discussed] search, and Microsoft co-owning some of our search. I will not sell a piece of search — it is like selling your right arm while keeping your left; it does not make any sense.”
On MSFT’s own search/ad efforts: “My impartial advice to Microsoft is that you have no chance,” Semel said. “The search business has been formed.”
Jeff Jarvis, who was also at the event, blogged his take on the speech: [Ken] Auletta asks [Semel] about Lloyd Braun backing off his promises to make content. He now argues that he hired Braun to look at all their sites and see how to improve them. Not what I remembered. But it’s nice to have a boss who’ll spin your loss of turf for you. But he then adds that he did cancel some things that looked too much like television. “We don’t have the ambition to do a lot. We have the ambition to help lead the way and help others to do the work for us,” he says. “We don’t aspire to have 2,000 creative people working for Yahoo.”
Updated: New Yorker, one of the organizers of the talk, has put up a video of the one hour talk, here…it seems to only be working in IE.