Yahoo!'s Yang defends leadership

SAN DIEGO - Jerry Yang, the under fire Yahoo! chief executive, has defended his leadership of the internet giant following the break down in takeover talks with Microsoft earlier this month.

Yang told attendees at The Wall Street Journal's 'D: All Things Digital' conference in California that he is the right person to lead the internet giant into the future but reiterated investments would take time to pay off.

Yang was forced to defend himself when conference attendees questioned whether he had the experience to lead after talks with Microsoft broke down. He also rejected the idea that Yahoo! was an underseige company

Yang said: "I do think I am the best person to lead Yahoo.

"We did not walk away from that proposal. Microsoft did. I've always said we're willing to do a deal at the right terms."

"The perception of us being a company under siege is just not accurate."

Microsoft abandoned its bid to acquire Yahoo! for $44.6bn (£22.6bn) or $33 per share, on May 3 after the two companies failed to agree on a price. Yahoo! said it would only settle for $37 a share.

However, Yang said that Microsoft is still discussing potential partnerships with Yahoo!

Yang said: "They are discussing various other ideas and partnerships with us and we're listening. They clearly have some interest in Yahoo! in some shape or form.''

Shares in Yahoo!, on the back of Yang's comments about a possible partnership with Microsoft, were up more than 1% to $27.50 in after-hour trading.

Yahoo's annual meeting has been postponed from July 3 to the end of July, giving the internet company time to win back disgruntled investors, such as Carl Icahn.

Icahn threatened to launch a battle to oust the Yahoo!'s 10-strong board if it did not reopen takeover talks with Microsoft.