Can Yahoo Really Compete In Search By “Owning The Interface”?

During the Yahoo-Microsoft conference call with CEOs Bartz and Ballmer and subsequent discussion with Microsoft's Yusuf Mehdi and Yahoo's Hilary Schneider we heard repeatedly that although the two engines would share a single index and Microsoft would incorporate elements of Yahoo Search (e.g., Search Monkey) into Bing, Yahoo would continue to be different and vital in search. Freed from the cost ($425 million reportedly) and ongoing demands of the back end, it would "innovate" around the interface and search user experience. Many people in the industry were skeptical and  shrugged it o [...]

Yahoo Improves EU Mapping, Does It Still See Maps As Strategic?

These days it's hard to remember that at one time Yahoo was the pioneer in dynamic mapping. It introduced enhanced local search features and capabilities into the map before Google, Microsoft and MapQuest. At a certain point, however, Yahoo opted out of the map feature wars that erupted between Google and Microsoft (StreetView, 3D, aerial, UGC). Since that time there have been a range of incremental improvements for Yahoo Maps. Accordingly the company said that it has given Yahoo Maps a "face lift" in the UK, and in France. There are a range of improvements discussed. While these ongoing im [...]

Yahoo Hires Morse As CFO

Yahoo has announced the hiring of Tim Morse as Chief Financial Officer. He'll report directly to CEO Carol Bartz. Morse most recently was CFO at Altera, and before that served as CFO for General Electric Plastics. According to Yahoo's SEC filing, Morse gets a base salary of $500,000, a signing bonus of $500,000, and has a "target bonus" of another $500,000. Morse will officially join Yahoo on June 17, and take over the CFO position on July 1. [...]

Bartz Continues Torpedoing Yahoo Search

Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz has been talking a lot over the past two weeks about Yahoo and how it competes against Google and Microsoft. Each time she does, I feel like she's digging the hole even deeper for Yahoo's prospects in search. Rather than communicate a clear search strategy -- which you'd better have if you're in a war against Google and Microsoft -- she resonates mixed messages that Yahoo can ill afford to send. Yahoo's Not A Search Engine Let's go back to the end of May, when at the D conference, I was less than enamored with her comments. As I wrote earlier: Yang got reamed [...]

Yahoo Hires Software Exec For Top Communications Job

Yahoo has reportedly hired Eric Brown as head of communications for the company according to the Wall Street Journal. Brown is now VP of corporate relations for NetApp. New Yahoo CMO Elisa Steele also previously worked at NetApp. Brown will directly report to Steele. AllThingsD has Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz's memo announcing Brown's hiring: Eric is a Silicon Valley communications veteran with 18 years of tech experience. Most recently, Eric and I collaborated at NetApp, where he spent the last nine years helping to transform the company into a multibillion dollar global enterprise. As Vice Pre [...]

Bartz Talks About MSFT Deal, Google & More At D7 Conference

If Microsoft brings "boatloads of money and the right technology," Yahoo would be willing to strike a long-rumored search deal. So said Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz at the D7 Conference today, where All Things Digital's Kara Swisher interviewed her on stage. Bartz followed up that statement by saying Microsoft would need "biiiig boatloads of money" if it wanted to buy Yahoo entirely. That's just one of the headlines coming out of Bartz's appearance, but certainly not the only one. According to coverage from Barron's, the Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch, and All Things D here are other highlights: [...]

Who’s Coming & Going In The Search Industry?

Over the weekend, there seemed to be a lot of activity on people coming and going at search companies. I figured I sum up some of those moves in a short post here. Former Googler Douglas Bowman, who resigned from Google due to Google being too data centric has taken a job at Twitter, according to TechCrunch. Priti Choksi, a director of strategic partner development at Google has moved to Facebook, according to VentureBeat. Well-known Greg Linden is Leaving Microsoft after Microsoft has "dismantled" Live Labs. Brad Williams, Yahoo Inc.'s head of communications has left the company. Rumo [...]

MicroHoo Lite And Other Creative Speculation About Yahoo’s Immediate Future

Yahoo Q1 earnings are coming up next week. There were also some recent, not-so-secret conversations between new CEO Carol Bartz and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer about a search deal of some sort or a broader advertising partnership. And there's a fairly credible rumor that more layoffs are coming at Yahoo, which are tied to a reportedly forthcoming reorganization (indeed, again). Into the realm of speculation about the nature of a potential Microsoft-Yahoo ad deal, which is unlikely to be a complete outsourcing of search, Silicon Alley Insider cites Wall Street analyst Youssef Squali's calcul [...]

Long Time Yahoo Search Scientist Jan Pedersen Joins Microsoft

The Yahoo-to-Microsoft defections continue with news today from that Jan Pedersen is the new chief scientist for Live Search. This one isn't exactly a defection, because Pedersen comes to Microsoft from Amazon's But he was Chief Scientist and VP, Search and Advertising Technology Group, at Yahoo prior to that. And before his Yahoo stint, Pedersen was with both Alta Vista and Infoseek. He's the latest in a string of ex-Yahoo's to start working for Microsoft. Others include Sean Suchter, Dr. Qi Lu (who will be keynoting at SMX Advanced), and, most recently, Larry H [...]

Yahoo Brings Back Chief Marketing Officer Position

Yahoo has named Elisa Steele as the company's new Chief Marketing Officer, effective today. Steele comes to Yahoo from NetApp, where she was the senior vice president of corporate marketing. Yahoo hasn't had a CMO since 2007 when Cammie Dunaway left the company. Yahoo tells us that new CEO Carol Bartz recently decided to re-establish the position. Says Bartz in today's announcement: "Yahoo!'s marketing strategy and teams have become decentralized over time - hiring Elisa in the CMO role will quickly mobilize our plan to integrate the function globally and more effectively represent the [...]

Yahoo CEO Bartz: New Management To Make Yahoo “A Lot Faster On Its Feet”

People have been writing about the forthcoming management changes at Yahoo for a few weeks. Now they're starting to kick in officially. Yesterday Yahoo Connected Life chief Marco Boerries resigned and today, in something of a surprise, Yahoo CFO Blake Jorgensen also resigned. Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz wrote a blog post explaining in general terms what's going to happen: So today I’m rolling out a new management structure that I believe will make Yahoo! a lot faster on its feet. For us working at Yahoo!, it means everything gets simpler. We’ll be able to make speedier decisions, the notorio [...]

Yahoo Mobile Head Boerries To Leave, How Will It Affect Yahoo Mobile?

AllThingsD is one of several sources reporting that the EVP of Connected Life at Yahoo, Marco Boerries, will be leaving the company ahead of the anticipated management reorganization. AllThingsD's Kara Swisher speculates that this may result in a "cut back" in mobile efforts at Yahoo: It’s unclear what the impact of Boerries’ departure on Yahoo’s Connected Life unit will be. But it seems more likely than not that Bartz will cut back, given it is a harder to monetize now and also because Yahoo does not have its own device, as both Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG) do, which might help it [...]

Yahoo CEO Bartz to Reorg for More ‘Top-Down’ Authority

It's probably safe to say that Yahoo has lots of fans rooting for the company to succeed under the management of new CEO Carol Bartz. In my vicarious observation of Bartz I've come to appreciate her no-nonsense approach and sense of humor. And as could have been anticipated after her appointment, another Yahoo reorganization is coming. Yahoo employees have got to be suffering a bit from deja vu or what might be called "reorg fatigue" in all this. Yahoo does need to execute at a faster pace and certain operations within the organization could be rationalized I'm sure. Beyond this every CE [...]

Yahoo Communications Head Jill Nash To Depart

Jill Nash, the head of communications at Yahoo, is leaving the company. According to AllThingsD, Nash is "spent" after the transition from Terry Semel to Jerry Yang and the roller coaster of MicroHoo. She spent two years at the company, originally coming from The GAP. Arguably she had to manage corp. communications during the company's toughest PR period to date. AllThingsD has been a consistent beneficiary of employee leaks, including the one about Nash's departure, which new CEO Carol Bartz is trying to shut down. Bartz has apparently suggested a cash award to flush out the leakers accord [...]

Some Parallels Between Obama And Yahoo’s Carol Bartz

Both Barack Obama and incoming Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz are taking charge of their respective administrations at times of crisis: the US is in financial turmoil, must establish clear and coherent priorities, restore its credibility, and build new momentum diplomatically around the world. Yahoo, on a much smaller scale, is in a conceptually similar situation: It must get its financial house in order, establish clear goals and priorities, restore credibility with advertisers and partners, and so on. It's a stretch I know; Yahoo's problems are quite small by comparison to the world economic an [...]

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 necessari [...]

Autodesk’s Carol Bartz Named New Yahoo CEO; Sue Decker To Leave As President

According to news out today from the Wall Street Journal, Carol Bartz, the former CEO (and current executive chairman) of software company Autodesk, will be named the new Yahoo CEO. Bartz has been praised for her management and deal brokering skills but has never run an internet company, nor does she have an advertising background. General reaction seems to be mixed. Bartz's background has led some to speculate that she will simply be a transitional figure to restart talks with Microsoft, which said it was interested in new discussions with Yahoo once a new CEO was in place. However, Micros [...]

Joshua Schachter Lands At Google

TechCrunch reports that Joshua Schachter, founder of the bookmarking service and a former Yahoo executive, had his first day on the job today at Google. Schachter joined Yahoo when it purchased in December 2005. Schachter then left Yahoo in June 2008, calling his time there "an incredibly frustrating experience." Schachter's LinkedIn profile says he's a "Member of Technical Staff" at Google, but he told TechCrunch that he hasn't been assigned to a specific project yet. There's more discussion at Techmeme. [...]

Jeff Weiner (Ex-Yahoo) Lands At LinkedIn

TechCrunch is reporting that former Yahoo Network chief Jeff Weiner is taking on the role of interim President at LinkedIn. Weiner left Yahoo this summer and took an executive role at venture capital firms Accel Partners and Greylock Partners. He was one of Yahoo's top executives, overseeing all of the company's consumer-facing products. Just last week, LinkedIn added Dipchand "Deep" Nishar from Google. Weiner's addition at LinkedIn is one of a couple management changes. TechCrunch says founder Reid Hoffman is retaking the CEO job, and current CEO Dan Nye will leave next month. [...]

Yahoo Layoffs Happening Live Online

The Yahoo layoffs are underway, and are happening live online. Blogs, news sites, and social sites like Twitter are filled today with live reports about what's going on inside Yahoo's offices. Here's a rundown of what we've found. Silicon Alley Insider is posting updated comments from the now ex-Yahooers, who are describing the scene at various Yahoo offices around the country: "In the NY Park Ave office, all the layoffs were one-on-one. Mine was, at least. Whole teams have been let go, even engineers. The office was hit pretty hard. Wouldn't be surprised if all the NY offices were to cons [...]

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