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Yahoo: Last One Out Please Turn Off the Lights...
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Well one thing about the inevitable is that you always have something to look forward to. It was a sad day yesterday as Jerry Yang was finally forced to step down as CEO of Yahoo.

I tried visiting the Yodel Anecdotal blog which a frequent place to find posts from Jerry Yang and was returned with this:

Even the Yahoo - Yodel Anecdotal blog was having issues. Mr. Yang's post to announce his stepping down was brief:
Stepping Down

Posted November 18th, 2008 at 9:09 am by Jerry Yang, CEO & Chief Yahoo

As you’ve no doubt already read, I’ve decided that I will step down from my role as Chief Executive Officer after my successor has been selected.

Ever since founding Yahoo! with David Filo 13 years ago, I’ve been passionate about this company, its brand, its employees, and the millions of people around the world who consider it their online home. That’s why I accepted the Board’s request to become CEO in June 2007, taking on the challenge of transforming Yahoo! at a time when the industry was evolving quickly and we needed to rethink and restructure our business.

And despite the tough external environment that we face, I truly believe we’ve made tangible progress in bringing our strategic vision to life. Most significantly, we’ve rewired our entire network to create a Yahoo! that has opened its doors to outside publishers and developers. We’ve launched an advertising platform that we think will transform how ads are bought and sold online. And we’ve continued to grow our audience –- standing first or second in more than 20 product categories and demonstrating that Yahoo! is the place users turn for major events like the Olympics and the Elections.

And now I believe the time is right for us to bring in a new leader –- someone who will build on the important pillars we’ve put in place and who will take the reins on the critical decisions our company faces. As for me, I’ll be returning to my role as Chief Yahoo and board member once my successor is named. I’ll go back to focusing on our global strategy, product excellence, technology innovation, and working with the Board and our executive team to help Yahoo! realize its full potential.

It’s been an extraordinary year here at Yahoo! –- for all of us. I’m really proud of the determination and resilience of Yahoos around the world who are so committed to giving you the best Internet experience possible. It is for them, and for you, that I will always bleed purple.

Jerry Yang
Chief Yahoo and CEO

It's a sad day as we can expect the speculation to begin. Here comes Microsoft, looking to pick up the pieces right? After the announcement of Yang's stepping down, TechCrunch reported that the market capitalization of Yahoo’s stock went up by $1.8 billion. Expect Microsoft to have a plan in place to try and acquire Yahoo now that Yahoo is looking for a new CEO. The fact is, as some are reporting, that perhaps Yahoo may be better off without a CEO right now, so that they can concentrate on their next steps. Jerry Yang fought a valiant attempt from a Microsoft acquisition but alas it appears that Microsoft may in fact acquire Yahoo's Search product.

The question becomes, what then? Does Microsoft have the innovation to compete with Google in Search? From what I have seen, not a chance. Would a Microsoft/Yahoo deal make it better for the Search user? Unlikely, at least not until they begin addressing the needs of the user and not just ways to generate revenue from online ads. Is Search in a better place than it was yesterday? I would suggest that no it's not.

Labels: ,

posted by Jody @ 12:43 PM  
  • At 3:59 PM, Blogger Rob said…

    It would be too bad to see Yahoo be swallowed up by a competitor - yet on that same token I can't believe no one is seriously considering doing that.

    After all Yahoo has a large loyal user base. Remember it's not all about search and that's where Yahoo has almost everyone else beat.

    I would have rather seen the Google ad deal go through so Yahoo could have rebounded but at this point it's hard to say what will happen.

    That's not to say they are down and out, but I think they need to hit pause for a few months and regroup. Maybe continue to explore that merger with AOL (another undervalued titan IMHO)

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