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Yahoo CEO Yang to Step Down

 1:27 am on Nov 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

Yahoo, under fierce financial pressure, has begun a search to replace company co-founder Jerry Yang as chief executive, the company said Monday.




 10:15 pm on Nov 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

Well, Ms. Witch, we are very familiar with your reputation as a wise and thoughtful thinker in the world of webmasters. No silly paperwork. But, tell us, what do you propose? Where would you start?

I personally think Yahoo is on track. Much like when my buddy Carly left HP, I think the new CEO will find that Mr. Yang has a lot of good ideas running that just need some time.


 1:52 am on Nov 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

I bet the future Yahoo CEO is going to inherit the rewards of Yahoo's Open Strategy, and Yang will go on to do big interesting things. When Yahoo bounces back it's going to be stratospheric. That's my prediction... (now I'll put away my crystal ball)


 3:54 am on Nov 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

"As long as they don't bring in another Hollywood CEO, they've got a chance to go places."

I don't know. Search is settled for a while with Google, and I have to wonder about their margins on the rest. Even if Y! does everything right, it will still be a horrible year given the economy.


 4:18 am on Nov 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

Glad to see some cooler heads saying something. Been seeing so many anti-Yang posts without anyone giving the other side of the coin. An all too frequent forum pile on mentality (which even WW can sometimes be susceptible too).


 4:39 am on Nov 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

httpwebwitch - you kinda beat me to enquiring about a resume to send in...

Well, Ms. Witch, we are very familiar with your reputation as a wise and thoughtful thinker in the world of webmasters. No silly paperwork. But, tell us, what do you propose? Where would you start?

There are plenty of things that can be done to get Yahoo kicked into shape and competing with Google if they wanted... but selling to Microsoft and giving away an Internet Brand isn't really looking to be competitive with Google, but to establish a marketplace with only 2 real choices for the public.

For Yahoo to develop they should look to what they are about... they should look at embracing 1000s of webmasters and making webmasters want to help them compete against Google.

The process of ditching/streamlining their inventory to re-establish their identity and find a clear direction is something that will help them compete. Even in existing (failing) sections they may be failing due to the strategy pursued... and approaching the same marketplace with a different strategy could move loss-making sections into breakeven or profitable states would certainly appeal to shareholders in the short-term.


 10:15 am on Nov 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

where do I send my resumé?

701 First Avenue
Sunnyvale, California 94089

BTW: Best of Luck ;-)

[edited by: DilipShaw at 10:19 am (utc) on Nov. 19, 2008]


 12:03 pm on Nov 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

Send it to me, I promise to forward it along with mine :)



 1:34 pm on Nov 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

I'm in the UK, one of the fastest growing internet markets (with money to spend) in the world. Certainly expanding far faster than the US.

I just ask Yang one question, why can't I participate in the ad schemes they have for publishers? Any company so parochial has to be a loser in the global markets nowadays. I've not checked but I assume that all European website publishers are also excluded. And Russia, and China? If so, is it any suprise that the company is failing? Or have i missed something recently.

As for being a portal, Yahoo also suffer from being totally parochial. Compare the Yahoo UK version of their home page with the BBC news page and it's a joke. The BBC offer England, UK, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales versions. Yahoo? Just UK. Again, I haven't looked but France, Germany, Spain and the rest probably get the same treatment.

There's a whole wide world out there that has overtaken the US and that's where the real money is.


 2:51 pm on Nov 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

@nomis5: Yahoo Search Marketing has a really good UK product, it's managed in the UK; it's not just a feed of filtered USA advertisers. I've found that our UK-based sites showing Yahoo's UK ads perform brilliantly, because the local advertisers sell best to their market. Not only do they know what "crisps" and "trousers" are, but they use Pounds for money and Stones for weight, they spell "colour" correctly, have stores in places that end with "-borough", and have the correct number of digits in their phone number.

Call YSM and talk to them.

I don't know where you did your research.
Yahoo has an incredibly strong international marketshare. In some places, they're still #1 for search; #1 overall in the Asia-Pacific region, particularly strong in Japan. Yahoo has separate UK [uk.yahoo.com] and Ireland [ie.yahoo.com] divisions. Should they apologize for not being as granular as the BBC? Yet, they do have a separate Yahoo for the province of Québec [qc.yahoo.com]. hmmm...


 7:58 pm on Nov 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

I've seen a few stories today that Yahoo's chief search engineer, Sean Suchter, quit yesterday. That's two search executives who've reportedly left the company recently. Both have apparently been hired by Microsoft. I wonder if this spells the end of the search business for Yahoo?


 8:43 pm on Nov 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

au contraire.
yahoo is average at everything. or, if you like: excellent in some areas but by far not the only ones.

what's worse: they are a company without a usp. being the biggest portal on the net (by the way: not in most countries actually) is not a usp. being the biggest car manufacturer in the world does not indicate that you are able to stay in the market tomorrow. you got to have at least one key area where you are better (or cheaper in the offline world) than anyone else:
google = search/advertising, microsoft = operating system, yahoo = none.

what's more, they never got international with some of their core products and potential money makers: ysm is still only in english and not available in almost all countries (correct me if i'm wrong but u.s./uk only). it's absolutely ridiculous. international users don't like to be treated like an orphan at all. still waiting for an adsense competitor from yahoo since five(!) years.

email, flickr, search, content are neither unique nor outstanding products or services. in fact, they are replaceable by hundreds of other providers, nothing special and easily copyable like all digitizable things. the world would not really miss yahoo products and services. the sad truth is: yahoo is a redundant company.


 3:01 am on Nov 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

is it cliche to say, it's about time?


 4:15 am on Nov 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

httpwitch: if you're an SEO, the best way to get their attention would be to rank for "Yahoo CEO".

Best wishes to Jerry Yang. I do agree with some of the posts - wrong person put in the wrong situation. He has made his fortunes and can easily move on to better things within or outside of Yahoo.


 7:23 am on Nov 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

Another point. He had a board that was against him. Impossibly difficult task to overcome.


 4:58 pm on Nov 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

I wonder what he'll do next? If he was me I'd be taking a long break somewhere warm where you can order fruity drinks *right on the beach*.

Mister Yang, if you're reading this, come over to my place some time and I'll make you some home-cooked comfort food. no kidding! Just make sure you call ahead of time so I have the ingredients I'll need.


 1:56 am on Nov 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

I don't thing Yang is going to retire with a fruity drink.

If he was that willing to let go he would have sold when the time was right. He will just keep pushing for more or crash and burn. He should have had underlings handle the deal with him as wingman. It's like putting a house buyer and seller together, just not a good idea because they are to personally involved.

I recently saw a photo of his face. No doubt he is a stern man and difficult to negotiate with.

Won't bend, a stiff reed.

The kind of guy who puts it all on black, and then celebrates when he loses because the pressure is off.


 5:19 pm on Nov 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

Fantastic in depth analysis of a human being based on a photograph. Thanks for sharing that with us.


 5:51 pm on Nov 21, 2008 (gmt 0)



 6:46 pm on Nov 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

I hope Yahoo sells its Search Engine to MSN, and MSN grafts it into its SE. I was never able to figure out Yahoo ranking SEO, but do okay with MSN. My income could go up considerably.



 2:12 am on Nov 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

yahoo have trying for years to do what Facebook has done- an email/ personal profile/ interactive social site, combining many different technologies.
They didn't quite get it together and now someone else cam along and got it right. A big wide opening in the market was there and they couldn't capitalize on it.

However, I like yahoo... I personally hope they get it together and come back in force. But it won't be through search or through their front page portal, it will be by reorganising what they've got, and becoming an awesome, vast social site online with lots of things for users to explore, discover and enjoy.


 10:07 pm on Nov 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

Don’t under why so many people seem to be anti-yahoo. Mr Yang still has the worlds best portal, and a very good chance of it staying that way. The share price is not at a realistic figure of Yahoo’s worth, so I’m sure it will bounce back to something more reasonable.
Its all hyped up, there is actually no reason why Yahoo have to do or change anything but continue doing what their best in the world at - being a portal. I bet Microsoft are laughing at all the #*$! they've caused.

I honestly don't remember the last time I visited Yahoo for anything...


 11:23 am on Nov 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

Well, I reckon that's pretty much the death knell for Yahoo then. Jerry Yang could have done the job of sorting Yahoo out in a way that I doubt any replacement for him will be able to. He was, in my view, perfectly correct to refuse the MS offer, since it would have led to one of the few viable seach operations in existence being buried under the rockslide of a million tons of Windows.

He was only talking about selling up because the fallout from from the Icahn interference, and the DoJ investigation has shut off all other options - without the freedom to manouevure he thought he had, of course the stock tanked in a falling market... Jerry was trying to look 5 years down the line, to a scenario where Yahoo had a collection of things that worked. From that POV, $33 / share was a laughable offer. Stock prices move all the time, and sometimes in a downward direction, sometimes not. GOOG has been a bit volatile too, remember - the 12 month chart shows a price over $700, then a drop to just over $400, then a recovery to nearly $600, then a market led slide to todays ~$250. Neither company has changed all that much in the last 12 months, even at the huge pace of change in this sector.

What Yahoo needs, and Google has, is a senior management team who can concentrate on the longer term stuff (like phones, and strategic deals to boost cashflow, leading to development) and not have to fret about the ticker price every day. Unfortunately, I suspect the board will be obliged to select a CEO who makes Wall St feel good, and who will run the company into the ground, a la Semel. Semel did a superlative job at Warner, in a industry he understood, and was a near unmitigated disaster at Yahoo, in one he never came close to understanding.

Ultimately, there is a good company in Yahoo, fighting to get out. Either the shareholders can keep their sticky mitts to themselves, and let whatever competent management remains attempt to achieve this, or the good company will get out - they'll all go work for someone else


 8:11 pm on Nov 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

Ultimately, there is a good company in Yahoo, fighting to get out.

Well said TallTroll!

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