Yahoo Looks for a New CEO

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2011-09-07 Print this article Print

"Yahoo still calls itself a media-technology company but has a leader at the helm that had neither media nor Web technology chops," Gartner analyst Allen Weiner said in a research note. "At the micro level, many of the company's headline projects such as Connected TV and Livestand seem to be moving at a snail's pace and its social media strategy is and has been a work in progress at best."

Employees are certainly in favor of the change, according to this assembly of quotes from various Yahoos by Glassdoor, which said Bartz's approval rating fell to 33 percent this past quarter.

"Lack of numbers drive decision-making, lack of customer focus. Top leadership denies the world changed so we are still pursuing the portal business when the world rapidly changes to mobile, apps, social networks and location-based personal solutions," according to one Yahoo product manager.

The next order of business is finding a successor to Morse, whom Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdry criticized in a research note:

"He just kept cutting costs which is the easiest thing to do. Both the CEO (Bartz) and CFO (Morse) are completely clueless of the velocity of innovation that is needed to succeed in the Internet space. Both the CEO and CFO lacked the ability to think big, bold and execute fast...their time horizon has been years, while it should have been days not years." 

GigaOm founder Om Malik summed up what he believes Yahoo needs, thusly: "What Yahoo needs is a product-oriented chief executive who has cut her/his teeth on the consumer Internet and has a clear idea of what the company's product lineup looks like in an Internet that is primarily mobile. And more importantly, that person has to be steely enough to give up on the products of the past and betting on some key products for the future."

AllThingsDigital's Kara Swisher, who broke the news of Bartz's firing late Sept. 6, compiled this list of possible replacements, which includes formers News Corp. executive Peter Chernin, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Hulu CEO James Kilar and many more industry veterans with Internet company experience.

Bartz is the third CEO in the last five months to depart from a major Silicon Valley high-tech company. She follows Google's Eric Schmidt, who became executive chairman as co-founder Larry Page, and Apple's Steve Jobs, who resigned due to illness.



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