“When you have a fire hose of cash coming in, it’s like, ‘Problems? Who cares?’ ”
The headquarters of YAHOO! in Sunnyvale, California, encompasses roughly 1 million square feet of waterfront office space, with floor-to-ceiling windows and views of San Francisco Bay. Yahoo owns the campus, as well as a 50-acre plot of land in Santa Clara that was once seen as a possible location for an expanded headquarters but which now contains a parking lot for the San Francisco 49ers. About 3,500 employees and contractors, many of them engineers with advanced computer science degrees, 6,000 report to offices in Singapore, London, and two dozen or so other cities around the world. There’s a research lab in Israel staffed by PH.D.s and a media team that includes former Today show anchor Katie Couric.
Yahoo owns thousands of patents, the broadcast rights to the entire Saturday Night Live back catalog, and an e-mail service with 250 million users. Jerry and David’s Guide to the World Wide Web, as Yahoo’s founders first called their creation when they launched it 22 years ago, reaches more than 1 billion users each month and took in almost $5 billion in revenue ¶ in 2015. You might think all of these assets would add up to something, but you’d be wrong. Yahoo, when looked at in a certain way, is worth approximately -$8 billion.