Report: Ex-AOL CEO Not Candidate To Buy Or Run Yahoo
December 17, 2008 at 5:13 AM (PT)
Speculation that JONATHAN MILLER, former chief of TIME WARNER INC.’s AOL, would buy YAHOO! INC. pushed YAHOO’s shares up as much as 16% two weeks ago, as some analysts called him a candidate to replace CEO JERRY YANG, reports BLOOMBERG.COM. Yet MILLER isn’t trying to buy YAHOO and isn’t a candidate for the firm’s top job, people familiar with the matter said. Rather, as a partner at a venture firm he founded called VELOCITY INTERACTIVE GROUP, he’s scoping out new media investments at a time when spending in that space is dropping.
"It’s a difficult environment for any business transaction right now," MILLER, 52, said in an interview. "The environment right now is clearly unsettled."
MILLER wouldn’t comment on his reported involvement with YAHOO. Through investments in Web video and online advertising, MILLER said he wants to own companies that cater to people who watch television and read the news online.
Venture firms invested only $102 million in first-round financings for media companies in the third quarter, down 45% in a year to the lowest levels since 2005, according to a PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS MoneyTree Report.