Lowell McAdam, Verizon Communications' chairman and CEO, thinks that Yahoo is "a real value asset" despite the recently reported data breach.
McAdam is one of the speakers at the Virtuous Circle, an exclusive conference hosted by the Internet Association in which the most important stakeholders in the internet economy take part. The CEO says that he is "not that shocked" regarding the massive data breach, which involved information on 500 million Yahoo user accounts, and he is encouraging internet users to take steps in order to protect themselves.
"[The internet is] not the happy place where you can put all your personal information out and expect it to be safe," CNBC reports on what McAdam said at the Menlo Park conference last Monday, Oct. 10. "Certainly we're going to do everything we can to fortify ourselves."
The CEO notes that investigations regarding the data breach are now 50 to 60 percent complete.
Bear in mind that Verizon announced that it entered a deal to acquire Yahoo for $4.83 billion before July ended. A couple of months after, Yahoo reported the 500-million-user-account data breach that took place in 2014.
The two-year gap between the date of the hacking and Yahoo's press release that confirms the breach, along with the lack of details in the press release itself, raised plenty of questions and even prompted a Virginia senator to ask Security Exchange Commission to investigate the incident.
Users have also taken legal action and filed lawsuits that accuse Yahoo of gross negligence over the data breach.
Following the backlash brought about by the data breach, New York Post released an article, which alleged Verizon of wanting to reduce the amount for the acquisition by $1 billion because Yahoo's value "has been diminished."
"They're being cautious because they don't know what they're going to find," says New York Post's unnamed source.
"That is just total speculation — we still see a real value to the asset there," McAdam says in response to the report while noting that Verizon is still trying to figure out what took place and if "it's a material impact to the business."
McAdam maintains that the industrial logic of closing the deal and pushing through with the merger is a sensible one. Moreover, the CEO points out that the coming together of AOL and Yahoo can produce an entity that can rank within the top three and offer applications and content that can stand up to what the competition has.
Verizon completed its AOL acquisition in June last year. Big Red dished out $4.4 billion to close the deal.