Carol Bartz’s ‘Gut’ May Stop Yahoo Search Sale To Microsoft

Clearly “the market” loves the MicroHoo dance and would like to see a transaction. And Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has said he would talk anew to the new Yahoo CEO. Now that it’s Bartz, apparently there has already been a call in which search was not discussed, according to the the Wall Street Journal:

She added that she had spoken casually with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer since accepting her new job, these people said. They added that she didn’t go into details of the conversation, which she said was informal.

Bartz also reportedly told employees that her instinct or “gut” was not necessarily to sell, although she would need to immerse herself in the issues and economics to make a better determination. According to Reuters:

Bartz said her first instinct was to ask why the company would need to sell the search business.

The WSJ said the following about the search-sale issue:

Ms. Bartz said in a company-wide Yahoo meeting Wednesday that she plans to spend a lot of time investigating whether to sell Yahoo’s search business but that her “gut” was not to do that, according to people familiar with the meeting.

From listening to the conference call Yahoo held upon announcing Bartz as the CEO pick I can say that I was impressed with her “no nonsense” style and even her sense of humor. She may well be the CEO that Yahoo needs to regain momentum. She reportedly has great strength as a manager, which is arguably the biggest deficiency that Yahoo faced under Jerry Yang, who may have had a strong tech vision but didn’t handle the traditional CEO role particularly well during a very turbulent time for Yahoo.

Beyond her managment strengths and, dare I say it, “smartz,” my instinct tells me that the fact that Bartz is a woman will be a great asset for Yahoo. Don’t ask me to rationally explain that statement; it’s just a “gut reaction.”

Related Topics: Channel: SEM | Microsoft & Yahoo Search Deal | Yahoo: Business Issues | Yahoo: Employees | Yahoo: General | Yahoo: Search | Yahoo: Search Ads

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About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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