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Jack Abraham’s taxi came to a stop. It was Saturday night, Feb. 17, 2012 — around 7:30 p.m. Outside the cab, it was dark and in the low 40s. Abraham had arrived at San Francisco Airport. He had just barely enough time to make his flight. Still, he hesitated, momentarily glued to the seat as the momentousness of what he was about to do fully dawned on him.

“Are you crazy?” he asked himself, out loud.

On Christmas morning, 2008, I woke up on the floor of the 1997 Chrysler minivan I lived in, parked behind the Kinko’s just two miles from my old house in San Marino. It was raining, and I was cold, even though I had slept in three layers of clothes.

On the morning of Thursday, July 12, 2012, Yahoo’s interim CEO, Ross Levinsohn, still believed he was going to be named permanent CEO of the company.

He had just one more meeting to go. 

That meeting was a board meeting, to be held that day in a room on the second floor of Yahoo’s Sunnyvale, Calif., headquarters. The room was big, with a large horseshoe table and video screens on the walls.

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