Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
Microsoft's strategy makes some sense, but CEO Steve Ballmer fails to anticipate Yahoo chief Jerry Yang's intransigence, which ultimately scuttles any chance of a deal. Nor does Ballmer foresee the economic crisis that, by year end, is dragging down the tech sector. With Yahoo shares trading at $12 apiece, the company is now worth $17 billion. Ballmer, however, gets the last laugh: by year end, he's still calling the shots at Microsoft. At Yahoo, Yang isn't. -- By Adam Lashinsky, Fortune editor at large
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