Jerry Yang Steps Down as Yahoo! CEO, Reporters Battle PR for Scoop

jerry yang.jpg

As you may have read by now, Jerry Yang is no longer CEO of Yahoo! While many may be concerned with the company’s stock price, or just who the new CEO will be, here at PRNewser we care about – obviously – the PR tactics behind the announcement.

Specifically, Newsweek technology columnist Dan Lyons is a bit annoyed at AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher, who was the first to report the news. He writes:

Just for the record, here is Kara’s big scoop, which she posted today at 4:50 p.m. Pacific time. And here is the official press release from Yahoo hitting Business Wire at 5 p.m. Pacific time – a whopping ten minutes later. Kara, honey, I love you dearly, but girl-child, having a company send you a press release ten minutes before they put it on the wire isn’t a scoop. That’s called taking dictation.

Take that! If anything, Lyons is angered – and justifiably so – that the PR team at Yahoo! has burned him one too many times, starting with the never ending “Google deal” story and continuing with the Yang CEO news:

I’d never dealt much with Yahoo before, and I was stunned by their PR operators – they’re really an unsavory bunch…The take-away: Do not believe a word that Yahoo says. Ever.

The lesson here: When dealing with sensitive news, sometimes it’s not worth it to tip a reporter off, no matter how much you’d like to do them a favor. Just put it on the wire and let the races begin. That being said, we’re not sure if the release was deliberately sent to Swisher or truly was an unapproved “leak,” so we’ll try to reserve some judgement.