Yahoo CEO says not likely to meet with Microsoft

SUN VALLEY, Idaho (Reuters) - Yahoo Inc Chief Executive Jerry Yang said on Thursday he was unlikely to meet with representatives of Microsoft Corp at this week’s meeting of media and tech executives in Idaho.

Yahoo! CEO Jerry Yang he talks to Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin (not seen) at the 26th annual Allen & Co conference in Sun Valley, Idaho July 10, 2008. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Microsoft, which withdrew its $47.5 billion takeover offer for Yahoo in May, said on Monday it would be willing to reopen talks to buy all or part of the Internet company if a new board is elected at an upcoming shareholder meeting.

Asked by Reuters if he had plans to link up with Microsoft executives at the Sun Valley resort, Yang simply replied, “I don’t think so.”

The Microsoft-Yahoo deal talks have intrigued Wall Street for months. Many at Sun Valley are watching Yang, as well as Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and other representatives from both companies, for clues as to the saga’s next twist.

Yahoo had initially rebuffed Microsoft’s overtures, seeking a higher price, only to have the software maker walk away.

Yahoo subsequently signed a search advertising deal with Web leader Google Inc.

Yang chatted for over a half hour with Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, and was seen with his head in his hands at their table by a duck pond in the resort, where many executives gather after lunch.

“I think he’s a good leader but under stress. There’s obviously a lot of frustration, but he’s doing pretty well,” Brin said of Yang to reporters later.

Yang, who co-founded Yahoo, is fighting a proxy battle against activist shareholder Carl Icahn, who wants to oust the CEO and install a new board to resume negotiations with Microsoft.

Yang was also spotted at Sun Valley with former Time Warner Inc Richard Parsons, who has also fought a proxy war against Icahn.

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Shares of Yahoo fell 32 cents, or 1.3 percent, to close Thursday’s trading at $23.50 on the Nasdaq. Microsoft shares closed up 22 cents at $25.45.

Additional reporting by Anupreeta Das in San Francisco, editing by Braden Reddall