As Buyers Circle Yahoo, Will It Be Carved Up?

Now that it's for sale, there are several reports indicating multiple buyers are interested in some or all of Yahoo. Among the names mentioned are Silver Lake Partners, a private equity firm, Yahoo search partner and former suitor Microsoft, News Corp. and Jack Ma of China's Alibaba, in which Yahoo owns a multi-billion dollar stake. Reuters is reporting that Yahoo has hired the infamous Goldman Sachs and Allen & Co to help potential buyers through the due diligence process, which could take "months" according to the report. The New York Times tries to value the various pieces of Yaho [...]

Dear Bing & Yahoo: Pushing Deck Chairs Around Isn’t A Good Plan

bing-yahoo-broken-featured I swear, it's like watching the Titanic having run into that iceberg, as Bing and Yahoo try to figure out what to do with their sinking ships of search. Except that the Titanic was big, and Bing and Yahoo are like small -- and they haven't run into an iceberg. They're being run over by the search supercarrier SS Google. "Did we just bump something," yells Capt. Larry Page to his Googler crew. "No, full steam ahead!" yells back first mate Eric Schmidt. "There were some senators in the water, but I think I've handled them." As for the wreckage of the SS Bing and SS Yahoo that Google also plow [...]

Yahoo Rolls Out New SERP, Will People Notice?

yahoo logo In the wake of the firing of Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz and amid the growing speculation surrounding a possible sale of the company, work continues for the Yahoo rank and file. (The employees must have a kind of PTSD.) But in the spirit of "life goes on," Yahoo search engineers announced that the company is introducing improved SERPs. The offer a somewhat cleaner design, with tabs showing related content and navigational filters that allow sorting by date and related searches. All the changes discussed in the Yahoo Blog post aren't live for me but they appear to be generally incremental o [...]

With Carol Bartz Out As CEO, Yahoo Needs To Find Its Own “Steve Jobs”

Carol Bartz The not-so-shocking news came yesterday afternoon that embattled Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz was fired. When Bartz came to power in January 2009 I compared her to then newly elected Barak Obama. Both confronted crises and high expectations. Both have seen goodwill erode and give way to disappointment. Low Employee Approval The task of both chief executives was to turn around a their respective enterprises. Obama has not been able to do it and may face an electoral ouster next year. And after a number of flat or down quarters Bartz was removed over the phone yesterday. That followed several months [...]

Confirmed: Bartz Out As Yahoo CEO

yahoo logo sign Details are very sparse, but All Things Digital is reporting that Carol Bartz's rocky tenure as Yahoo CEO has ended. All Things Digital reports that current CFO Tim Morse will take over the CEO spot on an interim basis. Speculation raged earlier this summer that Bartz' days were numbered when Yahoo announced weak Q2 financials. She'll be remembered for brokering the Yahoo-Microsoft search and ads deal that effectively put Yahoo out of the search engine business (aside from display; Yahoo's search results have been powered fully by Microsoft). We'll have more on this as information [...]

After Weak Q2 Time May Be Running Out For Yahoo’s Bartz

Screen shot 2011-07-20 at 7.56.23 AM She was supposed to help turn around the company, but Yahoo's CEO Carol Bartz may soon be the one in turnaround because of another mixed or mediocre quarter. The search alliance and revenue share with Microsoft was partly blamed for Q2 revenues being down compared the same period last year: Revenue excluding traffic acquisition costs ("revenue ex-TAC") was $1,076 million for the second quarter of 2011, a 5 percent decrease from the second quarter of 2010, primarily due to the revenue share related to the Search Agreement with Microsoft . . . GAAP revenue was $1,229 million for the second quar [...]

Why Is The Yahoo/Microsoft Ad Deal Going Wrong? Advertisers Share Their Views

bing-yahoo-broken-featured Last week's Yahoo earnings report showed another decline in search revenues for the once-strong search player, and it's blaming the latest figures on the Microsoft relationship. Is this right? What could they do better to attract marketers, and more of their dollars, to the search alliance? I reached out to a few folks who live and breathe search marketing to find some answers. Poor Traffic Quality The most common factor cited for lower revenues was the poor quality of Yahoo traffic, especially from the company's partner network. "The emerging reality [is] that the depth and quality of Ya [...]

The Yahoo Search Revenue Disaster

money-burning-fire-featured Yesterday, Yahoo reported a second quarter of massive declines in its search revenue. Yahoo blamed the "headwind" of paying its partner Microsoft 12% of Yahoo's net search revenues. Yahoo also said Microsoft's ads are underperforming. But even without these factors, Yahoo has seen an almost unbroken quarterly decline in search revenues since 2008. Failure is not all down to Microsoft. POSTSCRIPT: Since I wrote this, I've talked with Yahoo. Be sure to read the postscripts that have been added to various sections. POSTSCRIPT 2 (July 19, 2012): See As The Yahoo-Microsoft Search Alliance Fa [...]

Yahoo Q1 2011 Mixed: Display Up, Search Down, Revenues $1.06 Billion

yahoo-y-logo-featured Yahoo reported Q1 revenues of $1,064 million, which represented a 6 percent decline vs. a year ago. The company essentially blamed the search deal with Microsoft for the decline: [The decline was] primarily due to the required change in revenue presentation related to the Search Agreement and the associated revenue share with Microsoft. For transitioned markets (U.S. and Canada), Yahoo! now reports revenue associated with the Search Agreement on a net (after TAC) basis rather than a gross basis. Excluding the impact of these two items and the impact of the divestitures of Zimbra and HotJobs, [...]

Yahoo’s AllTheWeb To Redirect To Yahoo Search April 4th

AllTheWeb one of the search engines Yahoo acquired in 2003 to help build Yahoo Search, will be sunsetting on April 4, 2011. After April 4th, when you try to access AllTheWeb, you will be redirected to Yahoo Search's home page. A message posted on the reads: Yahoo! will be closing AlltheWeb on April 4, 2011, as we focus on other features to improve your search experience. Starting on April 4, 2011, will redirect to Yahoo! Search at Thanks for your understanding. This is not unexpected. A Yahoo documented was leaked containin [...]

Yahoo Turns 16 Years Old

On March 1st, Yahoo turned 16 years old - celebrating their sweet 16, as they put it. Yahoo was founded by Jerry Yang and David Filo in January 1994 but was incorporated on March 1, 1995 in Santa Clara, California. Since then Yahoo has been through CEOs, including Terry Semel who was replaced by founder, Jerry Yang, who stepped down and was eventually replaced by current Yahoo CEO, Carol Bartz. It has been a tough few years for Yahoo, seeing their stock slide, a failed attempt at building their own search engine to compete against Google, losing lots of high profile employees, and poor [...]

Obama’s Silicon Valley “Tech Supper” – Who Sat Where? Why Was He There?

Why was he there? Who wasn't invited and why? What did they talk about? Why was he really there? These are the questions being debated this morning about Obama's visit last night to the home (dare I say "lavish Woodside estate") of tech investor and Google board member John Doerr. Stanford University President John Hennessy (also a Google board member) was present and so was Google CEO Eric Schmidt, but not incoming Google CEO Larry Page. Who Was There? Here's the full list of attendees according to the NY Times, LA Times and SF Chronicle: John Doerr, partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield [...]

Yahoo Beats Expectations with Weak $1.5B Revenues, But Display Up 17 Percent

Yahoo reported Q4 2010 earnings this afternoon. Revenues were slightly up vs. the previous quarter but down compared to the same period a year ago. CEO Carol Bartz called them "encouraging." Gross revenues were $1.53 billion, down 12 percent from 2009. Search revenues were down; though in a surprise bright spot for Yahoo display ad revenue was up 17 percent and so were operating margins and income. CEO Carol Bartz is doing a good job of managing costs but there's not really a growth story (save display). Outlook for 2011 is weaker than expected. Right now Yahoo shares are down in after [...]

Google To Hire 6,000 Plus, While Yahoo Cuts Additional 1%

Google announced they are hiring. Last year they hired about 4,500 new Googlers. This year they are expected to hire over 6,000 new employees, according to the Mercury News. Eric Schmidt, Google's current CEO, said 1,000 will be hired in Europe. Google's latest earnings report had Google's headcount at 24,400 full-time employees as of December 31, 2010. Adding an additional 6,000 employees will put Google at over 30,000 employees. Alan Eustace, Google's SVP Engineering and Research, said "I am excited about 2011—because it will be our biggest hiring year in company history. We [...]

Yahoo’s Irving: “Hell Yes” Yahoo Is Committed To Flickr

Yahoo Product Chief Blake Irving just tweeted a ringing endorsement of Flickr, the company's photo sharing site/community. Q. Is Yahoo! committed to Flickr? A. Hell yes we are! We love this product and team; on strategy and profitable. The tweet is no doubt a response to questions earlier this week about Flickr's profitability and the possibility that Yahoo might shutter it (as other Yahoo properties apparently will be shuttered). Long-time Flickr user Thomas Hawk took a stab yesterday at estimating how much money Flickr brings in for Yahoo, and after using what I'd call some question [...]

Report: AOL Abandons Yahoo Merger As Yahoo Cuts Headcount

The would be AOL-Yahoo merger is apparently off, according to Crain's New York Business. The site is reporting that "AOL tried to either get enough backing to make a run at Yahoo, or get Yahoo interested in buying it . . . Yahoo didn't bite, and AOL didn't have its ducks lined up to be a buyer." Yahoo reportedly didn't receive any formal offer or proposal, however, so it's hard to know how serious any of this is or was. The article goes on to document some of AOL's ongoing challenges in the market, though it has had some successes under new CEO Tim Armstrong. Meanwhile the Wall Street Jo [...]

AOL Scheming To Sell Itself To Yahoo?

This morning brings another report of AOL M&A machinations involving ways to merge with or be acquired by Yahoo, now that both sites have very similar missions and strategies. They're in a way like the Ford and Chevy of the internet these days: workmanlike but not very glamorous. Maybe that's unfair to Ford. Both Yahoo and AOL are focused primarily on display advertising with content creation driving page views. There's a lot of similarity and a lot of overlap. Reuters is saying that AOL is exploring how the company might break itself up, through a "complicated series of transactions [...]

More Yahoo Layoffs Coming Soon

There are many rumors that Yahoo is going to be doing a mass layoff soon. TechCrunch believes there will be a 20% layoff across the board, although Yahoo denied it. Kara Swisher said it is more like 10% and only impacting the product group at Yahoo. The product group has about 6,500 people, so a 10% layoff would mean about 650 people out of a job. This is as opposed to laying off 20% of 14,000 people, or 2,800 people. Yahoo told TechCrunch: Yahoo! is always evaluating expenses to align with the company’s financial goals. However, a 20% reduction in Yahoo’s workforce acros [...]

Report: Hungry Bankers Manipulate Press To Kickstart AOL-Yahoo Merger Talks

A riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma: according to the Wall Street Journal and Reuters, based on the Journal's report yesterday, financial advisers have been hired by AOL to "explore various strategic options for the company, one of which includes a possible tie-up" with Yahoo. This is just the latest installment of the long-running speculation about a Yahoo-AOL merger, which started when Microsoft was trying to take over Yahoo. AOL is trying reinvent itself under former Googler Tim Armstrong. The company, however, saw a steep ad revenue decline in Q3, though earnings were pos [...]

Yahoo Loses (Or Ousts) CIO But Levinsohn Mitigates

AllThingsD, which has been reporting nearly every executive-level departure at Yahoo for the past two years, now says that CIO Michael Kirwan is leaving. Was he forced out or did he voluntarily leave? How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop? The world may never know. The Yahoo executive changes since the original, unsuccessful takeover attempt by Microsoft more than two years ago have been nothing short of a soap opera and provided hours of fun for the snarkmeisters of Techmeme who love to comment sarcastically about Yahoo and its "inability to [fill i [...]

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