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 and diplomatic challenges the country faces. Yet, just as Obama is coming in with enormous goodwill from voters and foreign leaders, Bartz has similar goodwill from the interactive world. People want to see Yahoo succeed as they want the US to regain credibility and get back on track. She also faces very high expectations, just as Obama does — although those confronting him are almost impossibly high.
Each leader will have an initial period (a quarter or so) to take action, even if only symbolically, to show their administration is different than its predecessor and that it has the necessary “moxie” to succeed. Each will have a limited window of opportunity to set a new tone and to build new momentum with constituents and stakeholders.
In my opinion, the more you think about it, at least at a high level, the less crazy the comparison seems.
While Obama has sought the advice of former presidents and opponents, Bartz has said that she doesn’t want a lot of outside advice. Nevertheless, here’s AdAge on advice for Bartz: Four Ways Yahoo Can Right Itself Under New CEO Bartz.