Yahoo Responds

In my last post, I addressed two brewing controversies at Yahoo , based on some things that CEO Carol Bartz said in her "you think I'm stupid" interview on CNBC last week.

Shareholder Eric Jackson wrote a blistering articleabout insider selling at Yahoo, and how Carol Bartz already has sold off $2 million of her stock-based compensation. When Bartz offered on CNBC that the sale was for "tax purposes" and that she really didn't sell anything at all, Jackson took her to task for using shares and shareholders to cover tax hit.

Yahoo responds: "As you may know, when RSUs (Restricted Stock Units) vest, income taxes are due similar to ordinary payroll. For RSUs, our programs work that rather than the employee paying us the taxes owed in cash and us remitting to IRS, the employee 'sells' the proportionate amount of shares to cover the taxes (for example 40 percent).

"For reporting purposes this looks just like a sale but it is only to cover taxes due to IRS, State of California, etc. This is common practice - not just Yahoo!. Carol has a substantial portion of her comp tied to stock price performance in the form of options and RSUs and so is aligned with shareholders."

On the issue of selling Yahoo's entire stake in for $150 million earlier today, just days after Bartz touted the importance of the investment in that same interview, Yahoo offered the following:

"Yahoo! Inc. has sold all of its approximate 1% direct stake in, the leading B2B e-commerce company in China. Yahoo! invested approximately $100 million in in connection with the company’s initial public offering in November 2007.

"This was a financial investment, which also reflected Yahoo!’s support of the IPO. Yahoo! maintains its approximately 40% interest in Alibaba Group. Alibaba Group owns approximately 70% of and as such, Yahoo! continues to own an approximately 28% indirect interest in

"Yahoo! regularly evaluates its financial investments and the value of its 1% direct IPO investment in has increased substantially. This increase is why Yahoo! sold this financial position. In addition to, Alibaba Group also owns Taobao, Alipay, China Yahoo! and Koubei. Yahoo! believes that its investment in Alibaba Group is an important long-term way to participate in the China market. Yahoo!’s sale of its shares in is expected to generate pre-tax proceeds of approximately $150 million."

I thought it was important to get Yahoo's side of all this out there.

So there you have it.

Questions? Comments?