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Yahoo!: Don't Jump the Ship

This column was originally published on RealMoney on June 19 at 9:19 a.m. EDT. It's being republished as a bonus for TheStreet.com readers. For more information about subscribing to RealMoney, please click here.

As usual, people don't understand why Yahoo! (YHOO) should trade up, given how "bad" it is. That's a pile of nonsense.

Yahoo! was bad because of now former CEO Terry Semel and his team. Anyone who doesn't know this has never been on the Web, never been involved in business with the Web and doesn't understand the dynamism of the situation.

I don't know if founder Jerry Yang's the right guy. I do know that Semel was the wrong guy. He was disengaged and nobody liked to work there. Keep in mind, this is a Web company, and the amazing thing about a Web company is that most people actually want to work at them because they are exciting and inventive and employees can really make a difference.

I know the current perception of me is that I am some TV guru with a column on the Web, but not that long ago I was more well-known as an inventor in the media, and I have to tell you, I have seen Yahoo! fade from being the greatest company on earth to a company that seems like one of these failed states.

It is not too late. Yahoo! can be a great company again. It still has the eyeballs and the elegance. It still is needed. It still can be re-energized, and I am genuinely excited about it not as a takeover target but as a company that can turn the earnings corner.

Of course, there are no guarantees. Bad management could lead to worse management. But I am not planning to sell it out of my Action Alerts PLUS portfolio anymore. My plan had been to unload it into the rumors of change on Thursday when I was no longer restricted from trading it. Now my charitable trust owns a company that traded at these prices under terrible leadership; why sell it now, with the possibility that it's a call on great leadership?

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