There was an item in the Wall Street Journal today about Roy Bostock, Yahoo’s new Chairman of the Board, and how he will be instrumental in managing Yahoo’s response to Microsoft’s hostile takeover bid.
The article ends “As directors absorbed the offer that day, someone in the room joked that Mr. Bostock has been chairman for only half an hour and had already increased the company’s value more than 60%.” This is the type of hero worship that can really cloud the picture.
Mr. Bostock is 67 years old. He is a career ad guy. Yes, he played roles in the a number of high-level mergers of ad companies and knows his way around ad holding companies. But these activities, though they may have been big, were certainly not market-changing. Some were with networks on the downswing. Mr. Bostock may be a great one to help facilitate merger activity and he may be a good intermediary between buyers and sellers of advertising, but I wonder about his Silicon Valley chops and ability to see the future of social media.