Yahoo is still one of the largest consumer internet companies, and one of the most recognizable technology brands in the world. But it's also arguably one of the most troubled publicly-traded technology companies in the world.
In January 2009, the company hired Carol Bartz as CEO to change that. Bartz had previously led software maker Autodesk, and her successes there provided some hope to Yahoo and its shareholders that the company could be turned around.
But little more than two years later, Yahoo's board decided that progress, if any, hasn't been great enough, and yesterday fired Bartz.
Here’s Econsultancy’s daily roundup of links for your considerable delight. A special mention today goes to the no-nonsense Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz, whom we'd like to congratulate for her commendable use of plain English instead of corporatespeak.
Media companies — whether they produce video, print or social content — are all struggling to price and sell their products today. In a digital world, stolen content is also an increasing concern. But at TechCrunch Disrupt in New York Monday, speakers seemed to agree that the future of media lies in providing access — not ceding ownership — of content.
Which company would you rather own stock in: Google or Yahoo? Chances are, like most people, you'd respond 'Google'. And for good reason: by just about every measure, Google is by far the better company.
But that isn't stopping Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz from giving some advice to the search giant. Last week, she told BBC News that Google needs to diversify its business. "Google is going to have a problem because Google is only known for search … it is only half our business; it’s 99.9 [percent] of their business. Google has to grow a company the size of Yahoo every year to be interesting," she said.
When earnings season comes around, everyone sort of expects Google to deliver. But Yahoo? It has been a while but Yahoo managed to follow Google and delivered investors a solid third quarter yesterday. Profits surged by 244% and the company's stock rose by 5% in after-hours trading as a result.
According to Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz, "we had a solid third quarter that signals our major businesses have stabilized". She pointed to the new Yahoo homepage, the company's big ad campaign and global expansion as signs that the company is on the right path.
Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz is tired of the press trying to dictate what Yahoo should and shouldn't do with its business. But the company's new $100 million ad campaign, which was met with much derision from the press when it launched last month, does not appear to be doing well with consumers.
In an interview with The New York Times this week, Bartz explained her views on feedback:
"I have the puppy theory. When the puppy pees on the carpet, you say
something right then because you don’t say six months later, 'Remember
that day, January 12th, when you peed on the carpet?' That doesn’t make
any sense. 'This is what’s on my mind. This is quick feedback.' And
then I’m on to the next thing."
Is it time to admit that Yahoo peed the carpet?
When Carol Bartz took over as CEO of Yahoo in January of this year, she was handed a huge task: recapture some of Yahoo's past glory. Most agreed that doing that meant figuring out what to do with Yahoo search.
Plan A: hand off the search business to Microsoft. But signs are mounting that regulators may not let the deal proceed smoothly, if at all. This led Search Engine Watch's Danny Sullivan to ask a simple question: "what's Yahoo's Plan B for search?"
So after one of the worst wrong turns in corporate history, Yahoo has finally acceded to Microsoft by crawling into bed with the Bingmaker. In a nut, Microsoft will power Yahoo’s search engine and Yahoo will sell the ads globally.
Microsoft’s search market share will rise to around 21.5%, according to figures released by Hitwise last month, or roughly one quarter of Google’s share.
The deal lasts for 10 years, proving a little about my previous assertion that Microsoft is only five or so years into a 25-year search strategy. It is playing the long game, and this deal has solidified its position.
From where I’m sitting this signals three things:
- Yahoo has totally given up on proprietary search. It might become a media company after all.
- Microsoft has strengthened its hand and the deal should help prise further market share from Google.
- Advertisers may benefit in the long run.
But what do the search marketing professionals make of the deal? I’ve been asking a few questions, so let’s hear what they have to say…
In the first week following the launch of its new 'decision engine', Bing, Microsoft's search property saw its average daily penetration amongst searchers grow by 1.7% and its share of search results pages grow by 2%.
That's according to comScore, which, like so many others, has been monitoring Bing's debut.
There's a lot to like about Yahoo's new CEO, Carol Bartz.
Unlike Jerry Yang, she's got personality. She doesn't mince words and has been known to drop an expletive or two. More importantly, she seems to have a pretty good idea of what's wrong at Yahoo and some decent ideas for fixing it.