US Billionaire Torero Plunges Banderilla In Yahoo's Neck

30 July 2008

SAN FRANCISCO: Death in the Afternoon? Eat your heart out Ernest Hemingway, you've been trumped by billionaire investor T Boone Pickens, who on Tuesday emulated legendary matador Antonio Ordoñez when with exquisite grace and timing he planted a probably mortal banderilla deep into the neck of el toro Yahoo.

Purple prose aside, it's a fair analogy.

Just three days prior to the internet giant's critical annual meeting at which its future as an independent entity will be laid on the line, Pickens – who held ten million Yahoo shares and likes to trade on his Texan roots – dumped the lot.

He also damned the company's senior management: "I think that Yahoo management was pathetic," he told the San Francisco Chronicle in an interview published Tuesday, while remaining coy about the amount he had lost in his Yahoo gamble.

Business Week speculates that Pickens, a fiscal fan of Carl Icahn, probably lost tens of millions of dollars on his Yahoo punt.

Meantime, the Yang Gang, headed by Yahoo founder/ceo Jerry, can expect a rough ride from shareholders tomorrow – although it is not known whether the testy Texan will be among them.

Data sourced from Business Week (online); additional content by WARC staff